The grizzly bear is one of several subspecies of brown bear. Brown bears are found in parts of North America, Scandinavia to Eastern Europe, Syria to the Himalayas and the Pyrenees, Alps, and Carpathian mountains. Populations in Europe are very fragmented. In North America, the grizzly bear subspecies is prevalent in Alaska and northern Canada, and can extend into the North Western United States and along the Rocky Mountains.
The grizzly bear inhabits dense forest, arctic tundra and sub-alpine mountain regions.
- Grizzly bears are six to nine feet (1.8-2.7 m) in length.
- Males weigh 300-850 pounds (135-383 kg); females weigh 200-450 pounds (90-203 kg).
- Bears stand three to four feet (0.9-1.1 m) at the shoulder.
- The color of their fur can vary from blond to black but they are usually brown with gray or “grizzled” tips.
- They have very large heads and large front paws with long, slightly curved claws for digging.
- They have a distinctive muscular shoulder hump and small rounded ears.
What Does It Eat?
In the wild: Grizzly bears are omnivores - 75% of their diet is plants. In addition to 200 different plants such as roots, grasses, sedges, fruits, berries and nuts, they eat salmon, other fish and rodents. They also kill or scavenge ungulates such as elk and moose.
At the zoo: Omnivore chow with fruits, vegetables and occasionally fish.
What Eats It?
Cubs are subject to predation by adult male grizzlies, bobcats, eagles, mountain lions and wolves.
Grizzly bears generally live and hunt alone except for mating pairs and mothers with cubs. However, they may congregate to take advantage of a plentiful salmon spawning season.
Grizzly bears reach sexual maturity at four to seven years of age. Females may mate with several males during the breeding season in May and June. Implantation of the fertilized egg is delayed until October or November when the female enters a den. From January to March two to three cubs are born weighing less than a pound (448 g). They stay with their mother for two to three years before going out on their own. Cubs have a high mortality rate due to predators. Grizzlies can live up to 25 years in the wild and up to 47 years in captivity.