Grizzly bears are a North American subspecies of Brown Bear now found wild only in Canada and Alaska and in parks and reserves in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Washington. The largest American population is in Yellowstone National Park. 


Food and Hunting

Despite its fearsome reputation, the grizzly is just as happy eating vegetarian food (fruit and berries) as it is eating meat. It is classed as a carnivore, but in fact is more of an omnivore, and will eat pretty much anything. Even its teeth, once those of a typical carnivore, have become modified over the centuries to suit its varied diet.

The grizzly feeds on all kinds of fruit, nuts, seaweed, roots and animal protein including insects, rodents, fish and carrion. It also has a very keen sense of smell and can detect carrion (dead animals) up to 28km away. Grizzlies will kill large animals, such as caribou, choosing one that is young, weakened or wounded. A kill of this size can last a sow and her cubs for four or five days. The mother hides the carcass between sittings so that other scavengers cannot find it. Small animals are not completely safe either, as grizzlies will use their claws to dig out ground squirrels and other small prey.

Grizzly BearGrizzly bears living near salmon rivers are skilled at fishing. Various 'fishing' methods are used, with each bear developing its own style. Sometimes the grizzly stands close to the bank, flipping the salmon out of the water and on to dry land with its paw, or it may sit quietly on a rock by deep water, waiting for a salmon to swim past. The bear then dives in and pins the fish to the river bed, breaking its back in the process.

Read More: Breeding

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