Teton Totem, a coastal brown bear, came to us as a child of divorce. A woman had bred him for movie work, but then had to move and was unable to take care of him. Our resident celebrity, he appeared in commercials, professional photo shoots, and documentary films. Well into his twenties, he was a seasoned emissary for his bear constituency, often moving people to tears with his gentle, powerful presence. Remarkably, he invented a kind of bear sign language, with which he communicated his wants to humans. He was also seen doing bear yoga to stretch his back, which was once injured. He loved pears and mangos.
At 24 years old, our beloved grizzly bear succumbed to liver and kidney failure related to old age. Always a magnificent presence, Teton Totem was an emissary for his species who displayed all of the qualities of a powerful, intelligent, healthy brown bear. He also possessed a unique, fully-formed personality that supported the realization that every living being is a true individual in addition to being a member of a species. He could be playful, cranky, frightened, communicative, pensive, and something indefinable yet profound. These expressions and other forms of communication were received by many visitors, resulting in transformational experiences that forever impacted the humans who were fortunate enough to meet him.
“From the moment I met Teton Totem, an enormous grizzly bear, I was mesmerized. I could not understand why he touched me so deeply. Did he recognize my lack of connection with wildlife and nature? He reminded me of what I had forgotten. My life will never be the same.”
Janet Morgan, CEO of Sequent Management