If you’re heading off on a bear watching tour, you should arm yourself with as much information as possible before you go. Although an expert guide will accompany you on the bear-watching tour, which bear is the most dangerous having some basic facts at your disposal is always a good idea.

Introducing the Grizzly Bear

The Grizzly is actually a subspecies of the Brown Bear, which populates the west of Canada and the northwest of the United States. It stands as tall as 2.5 metres and a fully-grown male adult can weigh 360kg.

Sustenance to Live

These animals have very cleverly adapted to their environment, and throughout the changing seasons their behaviour changes to accommodate the conditions. In the warmer months, they eat plenty to stock up their body’s supply of fat so throughout the winter, when they are hibernating, they will have enough energy to survive. A daily feed may equal up to 40kg of food and lead to a weight gain of 1kg over 24 hours. What is most interesting is that they actually get most of their nutrition not from huge amounts of meat, but from nuts, fruit, leaves, insects, and roots. Small animals, such as sheep and rodents as well as fish also make up a small part of their diet. When food is scarcer, they will dig into the ground with their long claws and make good use of their strong shoulder muscles and you may see evidence of this throughout the duration of your bear watching tours.

Shelter for Hibernation

The bears inhabit their dens during the winter months and fall into a deep sleep in order to conserve as much energy as possible to see them through. Their heart rate slows down to just eight beats per minute, and if a female is pregnant during this time, she can even give birth in her sleep.

Skills for Survival

These animals have huge physical and mental strength. They are intelligent, have good memories, and their sense of smell is so good they can detect food from quite a distance away. They also run fast and can swim very well and the young can also climb trees.

Grizzly Bears are, unfortunately, on the threatened wildlife list. Despite being so powerfully equipped, they are no match for the threat incurred from humans. With increased logging encroaching on their habitat and coming into conflict with humans through no fault of their own, their survival is in jeopardy. However, much is currently being done to try to reverse these negative effects, and bear watching tours are an excellent way to raise awareness and educate people with regards to their plight.

Marissa Ellis-Snow is a freelance nature writer. If you’re looking for bear-watching holidays, Naturetrek specialises in expert-led natural history and wildlife tours worldwide. Naturetrek brings over 25 years of experience to polar expeditions and tours to other spectacular regions on Earth.


By Gilbert

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