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Be Bear Aware (tm)
Black / Grizzly ID

Compare the Black Bear and The Grizzly
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Black Bear and Grizzly Bear Comparison Card

Grizzly Bear

  • Color varies from blond to black. Often medium-to dark-brown legs, hump, and underparts with light-tipped (grizzled) fur on head and upper body.
  • Average weight is 500 pounds for males and 350 for females. Males may weigh up to 800 pounds.
     
  • Height is 3.5 – 4 feet at shoulder when on all fours, and 6 –7 feet when standing upright.
     
  • Distinctive shoulder hump is actually muscle mass that enables powerful digging.
     
  • Rump is lower than shoulder hump.
     
  • A dished-in profile between eyes and end of snout helps distinguish grizzlies from black bears.
     
  • Ears are round and proportionately small.
     
  • Front claws are 2-4 inches long, usually light colored.

Black Bear

  • Colors include black, brown, blond, cinnamon, and rust. The most common snout color is light brown.
  • Average weight in the West is 100 – 300 pounds, with males usually larger than females. Males may weigh up to 400 or more pounds.
     
  • Height is 2.5 – 3 feet at the shoulder when standing on all fours and 5 feet standing upright.
     
  • Rump is higher than front shoulders. Does not have a shoulder hump/muscle.
     
  • Face profile is straight; muzzle is long.
     
  • Ears may be long and prominent.
     
  • Front claws are less than 2 inches long, dark colored, sharp, curved, and good for climbing. Claw marks do not always show in tracks.


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Chuck Bartlebaugh is now with the Be Bear Aware Campaign
and can be reached at 406-239-2315

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