It’s not uncommon to hear people say that they have a custom or specialized mattresses for their bed, but have you ever heard of a grizzly bear getting a custom made mattress? Sheena, a 26 year old grizzly bear, of Montana Grizzly Encounter, home of Brutus the Bear and Save the Grizzly Bear, Inc has just that; a custom made mattress, built to withstand the weight and rough treatment of a grizzly bear.
Until recently, Sheena used to sleep on the concrete floor of her den with an assortment of blankets and comforters, many of which did not last very long. Ami Testa, Director/Owner of M.G.E. came up with the idea of creating a bear bed to get the bears off of the hard floor, but it would need to be durable. Jena Nash Reno, a special projects volunteer, took on this project and organized several companies to donate time and materials to the creation this mattress.
The mattress itself was built by Mattress Mill out of Bozeman, MT, using specially made springs capable of holding up an Grizzly Bear. Jack Thanepohn (Owner) and Mr. & Mrs. Stacy Hildebrandt (Project Coordinators) brought the mattress to life. Please see photos below.
Now a regular mattress, left unprotected in the presence of a grizzly bear would probably last about as long as the blankets in Sheena’s den before the springs would be exposed. Enter BGF Industries who generously donated Kevlar fabric with a urethane coating to use as an outer cover. After Jena inquired about viable material to enclose the mattress in that would be bear resistant with Mary Causey (Marketing Communications Manager), Mike Byrant (Vice President of Research & Development) recommended the same material that is used to make bullet proof vests and wrap fuel tanker trucks of which he sent enough material to wrap 2 mattresses in.
Then Marvin Hanson at Royal Elk Sewing donated his time to sew a mattress cover out of the Kevlar material and enclosed the mattress in it.
The collective efforts of all of these folks yielded, Sheena’s Bear Bed. The video and photo footage below shows Sheena’s introduction to her new bed. Even little Lucy got to play with it!
Montana Grizzly Encounter would like to thank everyone for all their time and effort in the creation of this bear bed.
NOTE: This bear bed is NOT considered Grizzly Bear proof as Brutus has not had any contact with it.