Grizzly Bear

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Facts and Knowledge:

The grizzly bear takes it name from the long, silver tipped hairs on its back and shoulders.  They give its coat a grizzly appearance.  The grizzly is the fiercest and most aggressive of all the bears. The grizzly bear, found only in North America, is a subspecies of the more widespread brown bear.  It leads an almost solitary existence in wild mountains and thick forest.

Habits: In the natural home the grizzly has no enemies or predators.  It is not especially territorial and will tolerate other grizzlies.  The grizzly rarely fights, but when it does it usually wins.  Most fights occur during the mating season or when a sow (adult female) must defend her cubs from attack.  Grizzlies forage for food in the spring and summer.  They feed heavily in the fall to build reserves for their winter sleep.  Most grizzlies move into their dens when the ground is covered with snow and stay there until spring.  The nears usually dig their dens in the fall.  They fall into a torpor (deep sleep) during cold weather, similar to hibernation. On warm, sunny days, however, they awaken and search for food.

Male and female grizzlies without cubs generally emerge first, but the timing depends on climate and on the individual bear.  After they leave their dens in the spring, the grizzlies need food.  They will feed neat their dens and return to them at night until the weather is milder.

Breeding: The Male grizzlies attract mates by making low snorts and nibbling the females back and neck.  Although mating occurs in June, the fertilized eggs are not implanted into the womb until fall.  This gives the pregnant sow time  to feed and store food for herself and her cubs.  Gestation takes 180 to 250 days, and birth occurs in the den during the winter.  The newborn cubs are blind, toothless, and almost hairless. They are 8 inches long and weigh between 1 -  1 1/2 pounds.  The cubs remains in the den with their mother until spring, feeding on her rich milk.  In April or May the mother takes the cubs out and teaches them to forage and hunt.  They stay with her during the first winter after birth.  In the second year they may stay with their mother or share dens with other young bears.

Food  & Hunting: The bear is an omnivore, which means it is equally satisfied by both vegetable and animal matter.  Its diet includes fruits, berries, nuts roots, fish, rodents, and occasionally other mammals.  It even eats carrion (dead flesh), which it can smell from as far as 18 miles away.  The grizzlies teeth have become modified over the centuries to suit its varied diet.

When a grizzly kills a large animal, such as caribou, It chooses one that is young weakened, or wounded.  The kill can last a sow and her cubs for four or five days  The mother hides the carcass from other animals between feeding times.  Grizzlies may also dig out smaller prey, such as ground squirrels, with their long, sharp claws.

Grizzlies that live near rivers are skillful at catching fish.  Sometimes the near stands close to the bank and flips salmon out of the water with its paw.  It may wait for salmon to swim past and then dive in the break its back by pinning it to the riverbed..

Key Facts: Sizes, Weight, breeding, lifestyle, related Species
Standing Height:  Average 6 ft.
Weight: Varies from 200 to 650 lbs according to location.

Sexual maturity:  Males 4 - Females 3 years
Mating: June
Gestation: 180  - 250 days
No of young Usually 2

Habit: Solitary. Except during mating season.
Diet: Wide variety of fruit, berries, bulbs, tubers, nuts, also insects and grubs, honey, fish, rodents, and lizards.
Life span: Maximum 30 years.
Related Species: The grizzly is a subspecies of the European and Asian brown bear.  There are 5 other closely related species, including black and polar bears.
Distribution: The wild grizzly is found only in Canada, Alaska, and reserves in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Washington.,  The largest United states Population is in Yellowstone National Park.
Conservation: The grizzly once widespread throughout North American, the grizzly was wiped out by hunting and habitat disturbance.  It was listed as an endangered species in 1975 and is now protected.

Did you know:

Fossils records show that the first bear appeared in Europe about 13 million years ago.

An estimated 50,000 grizzlies still live in Canada and Alaska, but there are less than 1,000 in the rest of North America.

The phrase "licked into shape" comes from an old belief that bears were born so soft and shapeless that their mothers had to lick them into the shape of a bear.

Features of the Grizzly Bear:

Length:  The Great African hippo grows to a maximum length of 11 1/2 feet, ut the pygmy hippo reaches only 5 3/4 feet.

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