Born in captivity, Tank’s lineage is that of the lower-48-states Grizzly, the classic Yellowstone and Glacier Park Brown Bear. But there is something very special about Tank, beyond his handsome golden head. Doug and Lynne believe he is a Buddhist. In their part of the Rockies, Magpies - the black and white cousin of the crows of the Great Plains - are pesky and plentiful. They are a clever bird, but often make the mistake of sneaking through an opening of a bear or wolf enclosure to steal a piece of chicken. It doesn’t take long for Magpies to become lunch. It usually looks like a black and white pillow fight. Tank, though, receives his visitors with gratitude, as if to say, “Hello, my friend, how nice of you to come and see me,” as he sits calmly on his tractor-tire sofa and lets them help themselves to his leftover chicken.
At 24 years old and 850 pounds, Tank is the elder statesman Grizzly on Bear Mountain. Born January 14th, 1995, Tank towers at over 7 feet tall and knows how to throw his weight around. Tank was adopted from a Wisconsin breeder as a six week old cub. Doug and Lynne note that early training with cubs is crucial, as young grizzlies are learning machines. With one of the longest “childhoods” in the animal kingdom, they spend two, sometimes three years with their mother absorbing information; what berries and roots to eat, what moths live under the rocks, which spot on what river belongs to whom, and what big, bad boys to stay away from.
Tank’s hobbies include, but are not limited to, making designer furniture out of tires and straws, bird watching, yoga, and laying in dandelions. The consummate technician, Tank is intelligent, skilled, and adaptive. But in this competition, there is one skill above all others that Tank brings to the table - his appetite. Tank represents the bears at Apex Predator, where humans are tasked with eating like a Grizzly. Tank’s diet consists of meat, fish, berries, veggies, nuts, and even bugs. On a typical day, Tank can easily consume over 30 pounds of food. Humans will have a tough time matching his pace here on Man vs Bear.
CREDIT: Lynne Seus