If I asked you what the leading natural cause of death among grizzly bears is, what would you say? If you said "tooth decay" you know way more about grizzly bears than I do (or you just Googled it)

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Tooth decay in wild animals (especially carnivores) leads to starvation. Which leads to...well...you know.

Grizzly 399, an old female grizzly bear who lives in NW Wyoming and makes occasional trips to to den her cubs just outside of Yellowstone National Park in Montana, may not survive until hibernation later this year. She is one of the biggest bears in recent recorded history, which made (and makes) her a prime target for poachers.

399 is old, 26 to be exact. It's rare for grizzlies to live beyond age 25. The oldest grizzly ever recorded lived to be 34.

She is followed by many photojournalists, one of whom is Jorn Vangoidtsenhoven of the Cowboy State Daily. During a recent encounter with 399, he noticed that her canines were severely yellowed and showed definite signs of cavities.

Since grizzly bears will eat almost anything (including trash and human food DO NOT FEED THE BEARS PLEASE STOP IT) they risk developing cavities thanks to sugar intakes that we as 7-year-olds could only dream of.

399 and her latest litter of four cubs are heading back to Wyoming, likely for the last time as a family. The cubs are 2 years old and while they may rejoin their mother for a short time, the chances are unlikely.

399 has given birth to four litters of cubs, however along with the most recent litter, only five of her offspring have survived..

Given her old age and the cavities, it's highly likely that Grizzly 399 will survive until hibernation this year. While hunting grizzlies is only legal in Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories of Canada, the opportunity may also be too great for a poacher.

The State of Montana outlawed grizzly bear hunting in 1991. Wyoming and Idaho followed suit in 2017.

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