This report you are about to read is about the threatened species of grizzly bears. Grizzly
bears are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and meat. However, they come from
the order of Carnivora, meaning they have inherited the meat-eaters unspecialized,
tubelike gut. Read on to help you learn more about grizzlies and start thinking of what you
can do to help this near extinction species. By the way, this report was by Cynthia Chan.
Grizzly bears are large brown bears with coarse, silver-tipped fur. They have large
brown humps over their shoulder that most people find disgusting. Grizzlies’ claws can
grow to 5 inches long. Their front claws are longer than their back claws. Grizzlies walk
with their feet flat on the ground. You rarely see a grizzly walking while standing up.
An adult grizzly may reach up to 8 feet in length. An average adult grizzly weighs
about 850 pounds. An exceptionally large male grizzly may weigh up to 1200 pounds or
more than 6 huge men. It’s hard to believe that grizzly cubs can be so small that they can
Grizzlies may look lumpy and clumsy but they are actually among the most
strongest and fastest creatures on earth. They can reach speeds of 35-40 mph. and, despite
it’s weight, could outrun the fastest man on earth.
When grizzlies first come out of their winter dens, they are the thinnest they’ll be
the whole year because they haven’t eaten in months. Their first meal after their winter
hibernation would probably be a carcass of a moose or caribou that didn’t survive the
winter. Grizzlies have to eat a lot in order to survive the winter when they hibernate.
Near the sea, grizzlies may find a beached whale or a dead sea lion or walrus.
When the earth turns green they eat roots and sedges. Sedges are grasses that are grown
in wetlands. They are important because they grow rapidly in spring and they are rich in
protein. Grizzlies also eat nuts, insects, salmon and trout, and small mammals like
squirrels. They may eat about 400 squirrels a year.
Grizzlies can smell between male and female fish. They like female fish better
because of it’s delicious eggs. During the salmon season, a grizzly may capture 10 salmon
and can afford to let some go. Though when salmon are rare, they will hungrily devour
everyone they catch. Sometimes they eat only the head and eggs of a fish and disgard the
rest. However, the rest don’t go to waste because gulls swarm nearby ready to grab the
leftovers. After the salmon run, grizzlies start on berries like blueberries, crowberries, and
cranberries. However, they enjoy soapberries best. A bear may consume 200,000 berries
in a day. If the berry crops fail, grizzlies more likely to seek out human foods. In the fall, a
grizzly’s droppings may be the berries they have eaten before.
The North American bear, the grizzly bear, is found in Alaska, western Canada,
and around the Rocky Mountains. In Alaska, the temperature may fall to 50 degrees
below 0 in midwinter. Though during that time grizzlies are asleep in an underground den
covered by a blanket of snow while they hibernate. For the matter of safety, about 200
grizzlies are living in Yellowstone National Park and around 500 to 600 are living in
Grizzly Bears prefer rugged mountains and forests undisturbed by human
enroachment. They also live in arctic wilderness areas. Grizzlies need a lot of space.
Large landscapes should be reserved for them if wished that the species survive. However,
they don’t require untouched areas. If they did, there would be much fewer left. Though
they do roam free in the scraps of wilderness they have left.
Grizzlies are both predator and prey. They are predators to squirrels, fish, caribou,
wolves, Dall sheep, moose, and other small animals. They are prey to moose, caribou, and
larger animals. So because of this, mother grizzlies fiercely guard her cubs.
Grizzlies are true hibernators because they can go for 3 to 5 months without food.
Even as long as 7 months in northern Alaska. They often dig dens on the side of a slope
where snow collects, providing good insulation. Cubs are born in midwinter in litters of 1
to 4 depending on the local food supply. Twins are probably most common overall.
Mother grizzlies can reproduce until almost 30 years of age. Grizzlies can live up to 30
years of age. Though few survive beyond the age of 20.
At birth, grizzly cubs are helpless and really small, but they grow fast, nourished by
their mother’s milk. They are robust and playful by the time warm weather arrives for their
first time. Grizzly cubs are very curious. That is characteristic they will retain in large
measure throughout their lives. Cubs focus on their mother. By watching and imatating
her, they will soon learn the business of being a bear. By a cub’s second year, they wade in
to fish for themselves. Though they are rarely successful the first time. Two thirds of cubs
die their first year. Although there is the possibility that some are lost to starvation or
disease, marauding males are the only proven cause to the death of cubs.
Grizzlies mate in the spring and summer time in between May and July. When they
first mate, females don’t become pregnant imediately. Males are thought to find their mate
by smell from olfactory clues like scent left from rubbing posts.
Grizzlies avoid contact with other bears until fishing season when it brings them
shoulder to shoulder along streams. When 2 bears that have fought before meet again, the
loser gives up its place to the winner to avoid another fight. Grizzlies are very strong. In a
fight with another bear, they can grab their opponents teeth and throw him to the ground.
Grizzlies do kill people, but visitors to mountain parks are more likely to be lightning than
killed by a grizzly. Though they still can be very dangerous when they are teased or