At five months old, Bart was orphaned out in the Alaskan wild when a poacher shot his mother. After the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game was informed of the encounter, they searched the area by helicopter for three days.
They located the male and female cubs - Bart and his sister Honey Bump - and placed them with a loving family, ensuring them a richer life than one afforded by placement at a zoo.
Doug and Lynne Seus never intended to call the male cub Bart, but the name kept slipping off of their tongues as they played with him. His personality was identical to their former bear Big Bart, and he was a virtual photocopy of Big Bart’s baby pictures. Big Bart was Doug’s soul mate, and the Seuses tragically had to say good-bye to him on the same day they received news of the cubs. As they continued the grieving process for Big Bart, the Seuses had to also focus on building trust with the two brand new cubs. Almost immediately, Doug and Lynne started the socialization process. Rides to town always meant ice cream cones; trips to the mountains meant smashing watermelons and playing in creeks; construction sites meant picnics with tuna sandwiches and lemonade.
Now, as an adult, Bart the Bear 2 is massive, standing well over 8 feet tall. He rivals indigenous grizzlies of the plains during the buffalo years, and is as big as some coastal brown bears. Bart is the largest, most powerful Grizzly on Bear Mountain. His hobbies include swimming, eating, rolling giant tires around, and chasing butterflies. At 19 years old, he leads the way in three separate challenges for Man vs Bear. At King of the Mountain, Bart hurls competitors into the water with his massive paws and jaws. At Brute Force, Bart rolls an impossibly heavy log down a course with ease. And finally, at Human Prey, the humans come face to face with Bart as he hurtles them down towards a crater in the earth. No Grizzly on the mountain can match Bart’s aggression and versatility. Bart is a literal can’t-miss spectacle on Man vs Bear.
Honey Bump, Bart’s sister, is 19 years old and was born in January 2000. She and Bart were rescued by an Alaskan State Trooper after a poacher killed their mother, leaving them orphaned in the wilderness. The Alaskan Fish and Game had named the little orphans Hoss and Honey. They were the size of English Bulldogs, but with greater bone mass.
The cubs were cold, hungry, and terrified, when a human wearing welding gloves (for protection from their claws!) bound them with ropes and nets for a helicopter ride to Anchorage. Though the rescue saved the cubs’ lives, it also made them look at ropes with a skeptical eye. The experience had surely bewildered them, but soon the love and joy of living became their focus. Their play-yard made up of kiddie-pools, sprinklers, and tire swings was a cub haven.
The female toddler soon earned herself a new name. As Lynne Seus puts it, she was a “buzz-bomb.” She never walked anywhere - she ran - all the while bumping into everything. This earned her the name Honey Bump. Honey Bump is an Alaskan Brown Bear, standing at over 6 feet and weighing in at nearly 600 pounds. If you took all the sweetness of a little girl, mixed it with everything you imagine to encompass the wilderness and made it into a Grizzly bear, you’d have Honey Bump. She is a contradiction in coyness and claws, one moment stealing your heart with her flirtatious eyes, the next giving her big brother Bart a smart left hook!
Honey Bump is best described as ‘pure poetry in motion.’ Her hobbies include terrorizing her brother, ballet, gymnastics, and nose-diving into her pool. Now thriving on Bear Mountain, Honey Bump brings a level of ferocity and predatory instinct her male counterparts cannot match. Fueled by protective instincts, Honey Bump displays her uncanny speed on Grizzly Heights. Her pursuit of our humans fuels their run through the Grizzly Heights obstacle course and up a 42-foot tree. Look for her narrow shoulders and low center of gravity as she sends the humans into a frenzied panic.
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.