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Grizzly Bear Facts

Kashmira Lad
An aggressive omnivore, grizzly bear is basically a solitary animal that attacks only when provoked. Here are some interesting facts, which would help you to get an insight into its behavior and way of life in the wild.

Did You Know?

A grizzly bear can smell 7 times better than a bloodhound, and 2,100 times better than a human.
The grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) is a circumpolar mammal and a subspecies of brown bear (Ursus arctos). Also known as silvertip bear or North American brown bear, this subspecies is found in North America, central part of Europe, Asia and on the Arctic coast.

Today, this bear is considered to be a threatened species in some areas of Canada and almost all areas of mainland United States.

Here are some interesting facts about this magnificent animal.
Bear Paws
✦ The bear is named 'grizzly' as it means 'having gray or white hair', a reference to the fur.

✦ However, naturalist George Ord mistook this word for 'grisly' which means 'horrible' and gave name horribilis to the subspecies.

✦ Grizzlies are characterized by a concave face with rounded and short ears.

✦ Their paws are brownish or black in color, having wrinkled skin on the pad.
✦ Usually during early fall, grizzly bears start searching for a place to dig their den.

✦ They prefer hollow trees or the area below the roots of large trees. They also dig dens along hillsides.
Bear Den
✦ Grizzly bears have one of the lowest reproductive rates among all the land-dwelling animals of North America.

✦ They can eat large quantities of food and store significant amount of fat without suffering from health problems. This uncanny ability of grizzlies to store fat content and evade heart diseases continues to baffle scientists all over the world.

✦ For its size, a grizzly bear can run at an astonishing speed of 30 mph (48 kph).
✦ Grizzly bears generally hibernate during the months of October or November, for a period of 6 months. During this period, they use their accumulated fat for survival.

✦ Males usually come out of their den during the months of March and April, whereas the females do not leave the den until the mid of April and May.
✦ Mating season is between May and July. Usually, the number of cubs depend on the weight and overall health of the female bear.

✦ Even if the mating takes place 6 to 7 months before the winter, the embryos don't begin to develop until hibernation starts. The embryos start developing only after the female bear has gained enough weight to sustain herself and her cubs.

✦ Females reach breeding maturity at the age of 4½ to 10. They breed every 3 to 5 years.
Bear with its Baby
✦ The weight of an adult male grizzly bear is 400 to 800 lb, while that of a female grizzly is 300 to 440 lb.

✦ The newly born grizzles feed on the mother's milk till the age of one and do not leave their mother until 2 to 3 years of age.
Experts opine if attacked by a grizzly bear, one should play dead rather than sprinting away from the animal. Once convinced that one is not a particular threat in any way, the bear may just leave you unharmed. Being aware of your surroundings and the particular habitat would help you to avoid such situations when you are out in the wild.