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Grizzly Bear

Ursus arctos horribilis

Did you know?

  • Grizzly bears are part of the Ursidae family, along with other bears.
  • They are a subspecies of brown bear, a common bear found around the world.
  • They are called "grizzlies" due to white face hair that gives them a grizzled appearance.
  • They live in Alaska, western Canada and the northwestern United States.
  • A female grizzly usually gives birth to two cubs in one litter.


Grizzly bears have a large mass of muscle atop their shoulders and behind their neck. Their muscle and their size (they can weigh up to 1,400 pounds) gives them exceptional strength, ability, and protection. They can sprint 30 to 35 miles an hour over short distances, faster than many horses. Their thick fur provides warmth and protection from water.

Conservation History

Brown bears are found in fairly healthy numbers worldwide (200,000 or more). But their conservation status hides the fact that many brown bear populations are in danger of extinction. Grizzly bears were listed as threatened with extinction in 1975. Once found throughout the mountains of western North America, habitat loss and hunting have reduced grizzly numbers to only about 1,500 in the lower 48 U.S. states. In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the population of grizzly bears has grown from 136 in 1975 to about 700 today.

Threat Level

  • Unknown
  • Common
  • Near Threatened
  • Threatened
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild


The Grizzly Bear is widespread and abundant.


Alaska, western Canada, northwestern United States


Forests, scrublands, alpine tundra

We care about Grizzly Bears

The Saint Louis Zoo supports Huckleberry and Finely, a brother-sister grizzly pair at the Zoo. We also participate in the Species Survival Plan for grizzly bears. This is a cooperative breeding program, with a number of zoos working together to ensure the survival of the species. Learn more about how we are helping wildlife around the world.

Dedicated to Conservation

Find this animal in The Wild


The Wild

You’ll find penguins, puffins, grizzly bears, gorillas, chimpanzees, to name a few. And while visiting, you can take a ride on the Conservation Carousel or hop aboard and ride the Zooline Railroad. There are also gift shops and eateries you can enjoy.

Explore The Wild