399 and her cubs in May 2020 near Pilgrim Creek in Grand Teton NP where she usually hangs out. The famed grizzly bear has ventured far south of there, out of the park and into a suburban Jackson Hole neighborhood. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

JACKSON, Wyo. — Famed grizzly mom 399 and her four cubs were spotted last night on Teton Village Road (Highway 390) in the Teton Pines area. Residents there who saw her are both awed and worried about traffic, domestic pets, and other concerns that could put the most famous bruin on the planet in jeopardy.

Between Teton Village and Wilson is far south for the sow that calls Pilgrim Creek home. Author Todd Wilkinson, who has followed the life of the bear extensively, shared a video on Facebook yesterday, claiming it is the furthest south he’s ever heard of 399 straying.

The 24-year-old griz is no doubt expanding her territory as she and her cubs look to pack on weight for upcoming hibernation. During this ‘feeding frenzy’ bears can sometimes act more unpredictably.

In the risk of putting news out that draws people to the area, it is the belief of Buckrail that a ‘heads up’ will help more than hurt. 399 has made a legacy of being near people and roads without confrontation. She is wily about vehicle traffic and is likely passing along this experience to her cubs.

Certainly, the more people that know 399 is in residential neighborhoods, the better chance she has of avoiding someone’s dog or not being run over on a stretch of highway known for its moose mortalities due to frequent wildlife-vehicle conflict. Bear jams are sometimes good for slowing traffic down.

Be alert. Drive cautiously. Keep an eye out for this special bear. Give her room.

It’s up to all of us to safeguard our wildlife.

NOTE: A small resident elk herd has also been observed in the Teton Village Road area. Some of these elk remain here for much of the winter. All the more reason to drive with caution.