Grizzly Bear

Ursus horribilis

  • Classification: Mammal
  • Lifespan in Captivity: 40-50yrs
  • Lifespan in the Wild: 25yrs
  • Length: 6-7ft
  • Weight: 800-1200lbs
  • Height: 3.5ft (at shoulder)
  • Range: Alaska, Canada, less than 1000 live in continental US
  • Habitat: mountainous regions, tundra, alpine meadows, coastline
  • Diet: Omnivore
    • Diet in the Wild: small mammals, large game, salmon, vegetation, berries, nuts, roots
    • Diet at Wildlife Images: donated meats, fish, vegetables, fruit, kibble


There are 2 subspecies of brown bears. The grizzly lives throughout the mainland of Alaska, throughout Canada, and in a couple of isolated populations of the lower 48 states. Brown bears were extirpated by the late 1930’s in Oregon. The Kodiak only lives on the Kodiak Archipelago. Grizzlies usually weigh between 800 and 1200 pounds. Kodiaks, because of their salmon-rich diet, often exceed 1500 pounds. The diet of a brown bear is about 50% meat and 50% vegetation. Unlike the black bear, which is fairly non-aggressive and can tolerate living in the same enclosure with other black bears, the brown bear is more territorial. Although they are mainly a solitary animal, brown bears will have mass gatherings at particular fishing grounds where everyone shares in the feast of the salmon run. Brown bears are not known for their tree climbing abilities; their claws stick straight out from their paws and their size prevents them from climbing well. However, they can swim well and, despite their impressive size, brown bears have been known to exceed 30 mph in a run. They can run this fast uphill, across a slope, and DOWNHILL. Don’t let myths get the better of you if you’re ever facing a grizzly!

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