Grizzly Bears

A Grizzly Bear, still wet from the river, looks for more food. The Grizzly bear lives in Girdwood, Alaska.

Grizzly bears are a kind of brown bear that live in North America, mostly in Alaska and western Canada. Grizzly bears live alone, except for mothers and their cubs.  Cubs live with their mother until they are 2 or 3 years old. Grizzly bears are omnivores. They eat both meat and plants. They like nuts, berries, and salmon. They will also hunt deer, moose and elk.  They eat a lot of food in summer and fall to prepare for hibernation. They can eat for up to 20 hours a day! Grizzly bears have a lump of muscle on their backs that they get from digging. In winter, grizzlies use their claws to dig a den to hibernate in. Grizzlies can hibernate for up to six months. They do not eat or even go to the bathroom during this time! When spring rolls around the male grizzles leave their dens in March while the females and their cubs leave theirs in April or May. Now it's time to look for food. After that long rest they are hungry! 

Adult grizzly bear standing in the water next to a log.
Grizzly bear with three cubs
Did You Know?
  • Grizzly bears can weigh almost 800 lbs 
  • Grizzly means sprinkled with gray 
  • Grizzly bears usually gain around 3 pounds a day to prepare for hibernation 
  • Around less than 1500 grizzly bears live outside Alaska and Canada 
  • A grizzly bear’s heartbeat slows from 70 beats per minute to 10 beats per minute while it hibernates