Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear

Ursus arctos

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Quick Facts

Height: Standing: 7 to 9 feet; shoulder height: 3 to 5 feet
Weight: 200 - 1,100 lbs
Distribution: Northwestern North America
Habitat: Subalpine mountain areas, prefer river valleys, mountain forests, and open meadows
Wild Diet: Grasses, roots, berries, nuts, insects, fish, rodents, deer, elk and moose; they will also feed on scavanged carcasses
Zoo Diet: Natural balance (beef meat), veggie rotation, fruit rotation, fish, dry mazuri bear diet, dog chows, greens/lettuces, berries, cereal, hard boiled eggs, raisins, peanuts, grapes, whole prey such as rats and rabbits, beef shank bones and knuckle bones; their diet varies daily and seasonally.

Grizzly bears are solitary except for courting pairs and females with young. They are curious and intelligent but try to avoid human contact. When humans or even other animals approach a grizzly bear's cubs or startle them, they can be aggressive. They are active throughout the day but are most active in the early morning and evening. Grizzly bears are omnivorous (plant and meat eaters), opportunistic feeders that adapt well to new food sources according to seasonal and habitat differences. They use their 2.5" claws to rip up vegetation and prey on small mammals.


Grizzly bears are sexually dimorphic (2 distinct gender forms): males may be 20% - 100% larger than females. Although they are usually dark brown, their coloration varies from cream to almost black. They are very strong and have an excellent sense of smell. They have a prominent shoulder hump, a snout that rises abruptly on the forehead, shaggy fur, long front claws and a face with a slightly dished profile.

Status in the Wild

Unlike in the lower 48 states, grizzly bears are not threatened in Alaska where they can still be legally hunted under certain restrictions. Grizzly bears, in general, are the most threatened of all North American bears due to loss of habitat and poaching.

Conservation Programs

Listed as of "least concern" on the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources)

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