Grizzly bear

Species profile

Name: the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) – also known as the North American brown bear – is a subspecies of the brown bear native to North America.

Appearance: grizzly bears have long, thick fur with manes at the backs of their necks. While they are typically a brown colour, grizzlies can vary from blond to nearly black.

Size: adult grizzlies can weigh up to 360 kg and measure 2 metres long. Occasionally there are reports of record-breaking giants that can stand 3 metres tall and weigh up to 680 kg!

Diet: grizzlies are not fussy eaters and will feed on a mixture of plants and animals. They are known to hunt large mammals such as moose, reindeer, and even American bison. Although they also feed on salmon, carrion, birds eggs, fruits, and plants.

Did you know: having lived alongside them for thousands of years, Native American tribes often view grizzly bears with a mixture of awe and fear. And as a result, they have played a large role in their myths and stories. In Kwakiutl mythology, American black and brown bears became enemies when Grizzly Bear Woman killed Black Bear Woman for being lazy. Black Bear Woman’s children then killed Grizzly Bear Woman’s own cubs. While Sleeping Bear Dunes is named after an Ojibwe legend, where a female bear and her cubs swam across Lake Michigan. The two cubs drowned and became the Manitou islands. The mother bear eventually got to shore and slept, waiting patiently for her cubs to arrive. Over the years, the sand covered her up, creating a huge sand dune.

Location: brown bears are found in Asia, Europe, and North America, giving them the widest range of any bear species. There are currently around 55,000 wild grizzly bears in North America, 30,000 of which are found in Alaska.

Where to see Grizzly bears

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see grizzly bears in the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
United States
very high
very good

Photo credit: skeeze under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay

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