The Grizzly Bear
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The Grizzly Bear

Sadly, the number of Grizzly Bears is declining rapidly. There are only 55,000 left in the wild and their numbers decrease yearly.

The Grizzly Bear is a sub-species of the Brown Bear. They were once found all-over North America, but now only live in Upper North America. Their name comes from how their fur contains both grey and brown hair, giving the bear a grizzled look. However, when the bear was first named, people mistook grizzly for grisly which made the bear’s scientific name different from what it should have been. Grizzly Bears are the largest of the Brown Bears, and second largest of all the bear species. They live 30 years in captivity, and around 20 to 25 years in the wild.

Male Grizzly Bears are larger and heavier than females. Males when erect stand around eight feet tall, and weigh from 230 to 450 kilograms. Females are both smaller and lighter, standing around six feet tall and weighing 150 to 350 kilograms. However, where they live affects their overall size. Grizzlies living in forests are smaller and lighter than ones living by coastal regions are. The size difference mostly comes from what kind of food they eat. Most grizzly Bears have brown fur with white or grey tips, but some come in shades of black or blonde. They have extremely strong paws, which are used for digging, running and sometimes gripping and rending prey or a carcass. Surprisingly, they can run about 55 kilometres per hour for short distances.

Grizzly Bears are omnivores, which mean they eat both vegetables and meat. They feast on everything from berries, nuts and roots to plants and trees to elk, moose, deer and bison. They will even eat other bears. However, their favourite food is fish and it is also the healthiest for them. During salmon and trout, spawning times many Grizzlies can be observed along the river catching these delicious treats. The regular consumption of fish is one of the major reason that coastal bears are larger than those that live in forests.

Grizzly Bears are apex predators, meaning that rarely do other animals hunt them. However, a few animals will occasionally fight with them and possibly kill them. Wolves and Grizzly Bears will occasionally fight, usually over food, but rarely does either seriously hurt the other. Cougars will fight Grizzlies if their young are endangered. Usually, other bears give Grizzlies a wide berth, avoiding altercations whenever possible. The two major predators of Grizzly Bears are wolverines and humans. Wolverines will hunt and kill young, weak or injured Grizzlies. Humans are by far their biggest predators, hunting them with guns and traps, more often for sport than for food or defence.

Sadly, the number of Grizzly Bears is declining rapidly. There are only 55,000 left in the wild and their numbers decrease yearly. Illegal poaching, lack of food and habitat, and pollution is taking a serious toil on the species. As their habitats decrease and they food supplies become scarce they venture more into populated areas. About 50 bears a year are shot in British Columbia Canada for venturing into areas populated by humans. The decline of the Grizzly Bear will continue until we stop encroaching on their territory and depleting their food supply. They are magnificent creatures that needs space and room, and would be sorely missed if they were to go extinct. We need to act now so that does not happen.

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