HOBACK, Wyo. — Last week, a Jackson woman had a close encounter with Grizzly 399 and her cubs on Tusky Ridge Trail at Munger Mountain.
Tessa Riley was out for a trail ride on her horse Rooster when she stopped to take a video of the fall foliage. Unbeknownst to Riley, 399 and her cubs were making their way down the trail in front of her.
“I looked up initially thinking there was a husky walking down the trail after just seeing a furry back,” said Riley.
“I then realized it was a bear and finally realized it was five bears – a herd of bears! I was very thankful to be on my horse Rooster who had locked in on 399. It didn’t take much prompting to ask him to quickly turn and leave her be.”
With her dog Arnold in tow, Riley’s horse led her back to her truck safely. Riley captured a video of the encounter and posted it to her Instagram account.
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 without confrontation. She is wily about vehicle traffic and is likely passing along this experience to her cubs.
Be alert. Recreate cautiously. Keep an eye out for this special bear. Give her room.
It’s up to all of us to safeguard our wildlife.