Can A Grizzly Bear Climb Trees?

As compared to the black bear, the grizzly bear can climb trees perfectly and with complete easiness. However, the climbing adeptness of bears is dependent on several factors. Many people – those being pursued by bears – are advised to take up trees. The grizzly bear’s ability to climb will depend on the size of the branches and the tree itself. If a grizzly bear is pursuing you, it is best that you choose a tree wisely; it should be tall with branches that have little thickness. However, the tree shouldn’t be weak; the bear is likely to start banging its head on the tree. It would not be nice if you chose one that is not strong enough.

It is easy for a grizzly bear to climb a tree when it is younger and smaller. When it grows older, its weight increases. This overwhelmingly massive body may be difficult to carry up a tree. If a little bear is chasing someone, it can follow them up the tree, reach, and then harm them. As implied in the previous portion, larger bears will not attempt to climb the tree; they will use their massive power and try to push you down. So, be advised to drop something interesting for the bear to be distracted. If the grizzly bear is pursuing you up the tree, try and poke its eyes.

This article will pay attention to questions related to grizzly bears and bears at large about climbing. You will also get to know some stunning information about bears. Bear the read (all pun intended).

Grizzly Bears And Climbing: Related Questions

Can Cubby Grizzly Bears Engage In Tree Climbing?

Since they are energetic and curious, they will naturally find themselves inclined to get in trouble. For most of their young life, bears will explore their world extensively. When the cubs are in their first year, they cannot climb trees with ease. However, they will do so if faced with a threat, such as a powerful predator.

The excellent climbing skills, which are present at birth, can be accounted for by the shape of the cubby grizzly bear’s claws. They are heavily curved (more than those of the black bear) and work similarly as grappling hooks. When the cubs grow up, their claws will become long and straight, and their body weights will be a little too much – they won’t be able to ascend trees quickly. A newborn cub weighs between 500 and 800 grams, but its growth is exponential. After a year goes by, the males will weigh around 199 pounds (90 kilograms) and their female counterparts about half that figure.

Can Adult (Fully –Grown) Grizzly Bears Engage In Tree Climbing?

A grizzly bear that has already matured will lack the agility of cubs and black bears. However, this should not imply that they cannot climb trees; if the branches are thick enough, they will get a firm grip and ascend. For fairness’ sake, the adult grizzly bears have a height advantage. By standing on their hind limbs, the grizzly will reach about 2.8 meters. This means that they can use the branches on the lower side as ladders.

How Common And What, Usually, Is The Purpose Of Grizzly Bears Climbing Trees?

It won’t be a common thing to see grizzlies climbing, for they were not meant for that. However, any fully-grown grizzly bear will climb a tree for any of the following reasons:

To Get Food

As omnivores, grizzly bears will feed on both animals and plants. However, about 70% of their diet is made of vegetation. If they smell something tasty up there, they will try as much as they can to get it. Many times, these bears are guided by their olfactory and hearing senses. A grizzly bear’s olfactory sense can pick out the smell of a carcass about 20 miles away. So, if you are a camper or a hiker that hangs their food on trees, have that in mind.

To Take Down Prey

In its food chain, a grizzly bear is the highest predator. Apart from wolf packs and humans, there are no other predators that can threaten it. This means that they have a particular ultimate-ness; any prey that is being pursued by a bear may not survive the ordeal. So, when a prey animal chooses to climb a tree, the grizzly bear will ascend the tree and pursue it. Through these spontaneous climbs, other bear species and humans have faced attacks that are known to people.

To Flee A Threat (A Cause Of Adrenaline)

As you might know, there are no creatures more territorial than grizzly bears. These types of bears are solitary beings that, at all costs, will defend their space, food, and young. Sometimes, this defensiveness pushes them to rest in trees. The main reason why they climb trees during a dangerous situation is to safeguard their cubs.

What Is The Tree-Climbing Speed Of A Grizzly Bear?

No official records are present to note the speed that a grizzly bear can reach as it ladders its way up. However, some attacks state that grizzles have used a couple of minutes to chase humans to over 30 feet in height.

Are There Any Special Types of Trees that Grizzly Bears Like?

Because the grizzly does not have claws that look like hooks, they use branches (for the most part) to reach great altitudes. So, while a grizzly bear does not have any trees it prefers climbing, you will find it going for white-bark pine trees and canopies. These are trees with firm and wide branches that will not snap because of the bear’s overbearing weight.

Is It Wise For Someone Who Is Being Pursued By A Grizzly Bear To Climb A Tree?

Ideally, many people recommend that the person does not climb the tree. Since the defensiveness of grizzly bears is more than that of black bears, you may not even climb the tree. This is because the bear will outrun you. It is never a nice thing to defy them whether you’re climbing or running.

The reaction of bears is as different as the difference in species. So, you cannot predict the behavior of one bear with reference to that of another. The one thing you should remember when you come face to face with a grizzly bear is to avoid eye contact. This is because the bears consider it as a threat. Instead of running, you should just saunter, which is to walk in a relaxed, slow manner, without effort or hurry.

You should also work on distracting the grizzly by dropping a non-eatable object, like a jacket or a hat. Alternatively, you can take on slow walks or lie flat with your back up. You can then cover your neck and head until the bear leaves.

Do Grizzly Bears Pose Any Danger to Humans?

Being the solitary creatures they are, grizzly bears will not attack a human unless the person surprises or threatens them. When a grizzly bear attack happens, the human involved may get severe injuries. Sometimes, the injuries that occur may lead to a fatality.

Grizzly bears have powerful forelegs and paws, which can move a huge rock. The claws are a little too sharp – they can cut the flesh of prey open or hook a fish. This means that, when confronted with a human, these physical features will give the bears a lot of advantage.

As mentioned elsewhere in the read, humans are one of the unnatural predators of bears. In North America, there are about 42,000 grizzly bears. However, the number is a paltry 1700 in the United States. For that reason, the USFWS – the United States Fish and Wildlife Service – has declared the grizzly bear part of the endangered species.

Some Other Related Questions

1. What About Brown Bears And Climbing Trees?

Brown bears are just an umbrella classification for grizzly and Kodiak bears. Because they share similar physiological traits, brown bears are not the best climbers.

2. What About Polar Bears And Climbing Trees?

While this may not be a common phenomenon that polar bears engage in, they can do it. As physiologically and anatomically compared to grizzly bears, polar bears are better at climbing. They can get better grips on tree trunks than sharp and short claws.

  1. What about Kodiak Bears and Climbing Trees?

Globally, the largest bear species are the Kodiak bears. They can weigh upwards of 1500 pounds and have a height of about 5 feet. Like grizzlies, the Kodiak bear cubs show particular agility when climbing. However, age comes with weight, and climbing becomes difficult.

Facts About Bears (Stunner After Stunner)

If you take a minute to learn about bears, you will know that, well, you don’t know. There is so much you can learn about them, which is why this section is included. You are about to learn the most stunning facts about these furry beasts. This read should stir up your interest in knowing more about all the bear species worldwide. Let’s take each point one by one!

1. While Many People Think That Koala Bears Are Bears, They Are Not.

Many people who considered koalas as bears are wrong; they are actually marsupials – like kangaroos. Unlike bears, koalas are herbivorous, and thus, they consume a strict diet based on plants. The reason why people call marsupials bears is because of their climbing abilities.

2. Bears Have Great Sizes, Speeds, And Forces

Consider yourself a lucky person if you’ve never crossed paths with a bear. Many people never think a bear’s image and figure is overwhelming until they meet one. The bears in America can be anything between 500 and 1000 pounds. This weight is usually coupled up with a strong bite force.  Great speed adds to the weight and force, making the bear a very threatening creature.

Some of the bear species have a bite force of about 1000 PSI or pound-force per square inch. This strength is right behind that of tigers and lions.

Let me put everything into perspective. The average bite force of a bear is about the ‘energy’ you would need to destroy one telephone pole to smithereens.

Let’s talk about the speed of a bear. Before we mention any figures, you shouldn’t even dream of being chased by a black bear. This is because those and grizzly bears can run at speeds of about 35 miles per hour. Think about the speed thing this way – the fastest human ran at 28 miles per hour, and that speed only lasted several seconds at any one moment. Since bears can keep up with their 35-mile-an-hour pace, it would be difficult for a human to escape the jaws of humans.

3. The 1000-Pound Mark Is Astonishing

If you are looking at bears from afar, you will realize that they don’t even look big. But as mentioned elsewhere in the read, 1000 pounds is the average mark. In terms of a bear’s weight, the lower limit is 900 pounds, and the upper limit is 1500 pounds. On record, the heaviest polar bear weighed about 2210 pounds, which is an immense size.

Let’s talk about bears that are most likely to be seen in the wild – the black and brown bears. Compared to humans, these bears are quite large. The black bears weigh around 500 pounds, and the brown bears weigh an average of 700, between 500 and 900 pounds. What you should have in mind is that these weight numbers are six times that of a human.

4. The Claws of Black Bears Are Specially Designed For Tree Climbing

As mentioned severally in this read, climbing a tree would not be the best thing for anyone being pursued by a bear. Brown and black bears can climb a tree as agilely and as fast as you can do it. The black bear’s claws are curved and about 2 inches long. Because of those fierce features, the claws are excellent resources that the bears can use to latch onto trees to climb up.

While it is possible that bears climb trees, it is unusual to see them in that situation.

5. The Coat Of A Bear Has A Double Layer To Help In Warmth And Waterproofness

As a unique physiological feature, bears come with double-layered coats. During hibernation, these coats help them to keep warm. If the bear is swimming for a long distance, the coat will help to prevent water absorption. The coats help in wicking the waterway to ensure that the bear is not weighed down at all.

During winter, bears spend most of their time sleeping. As the winter moves and their heartbeats start slowing, the animals can keep warm because of their coats, which are thick and double-layered.

6. Many Bear Species Can Stand And Walk Using Their Hind Legs

Watching a bear species on all fours is already intimidating. Now, think about crossing ways with a bear standing up on its hind legs. When bears choose to stand on their hind feet, they will be at an intimidating height of anything between 3 and 9 feet (polar bear). So, this means that they will tower above you when they stand like you. It would be scary to see an animal that big – that sight is already devastating.

However, a bear standing on its hind legs is not something that should concern you a lot. When they take up that position, they are usually trying to get a better view of things. It seems that they have human inclinations. While an encounter with a standing bear may send chills down your spine, the bear won’t be aggressive as it only takes up that position because of curiosity.

7. Bears Are Great Swimmers

We know bears as beasts of terrestrial spaces. However, this should not make us think that bears do not swim – they do! They are actually built to do it. Water is not meant for survival for bears; they love using it as a source of enjoyment and means of traveling. Some bears love playing and wrestling in water – something that can be interesting and pleasing to see.

The reason why the swimming abilities of the bear are known is that many of them have been captured, tagged, and taken back. Then, their location has been tracked for over a period of time. Researchers have actually found out that bears swim for many miles without getting tired. Some studies capture that some types of bears can go 30 miles during a single swim time.

Stunners About Bears And Their Relations With Other Species

Out in the wild, you should know that bears are not alone. Like the other species, bears are continually interacting with animals and plants to ensure that they remain fed. The one thing that you may not know is that bears eat fewer animals than plants, although they are carnivorous.

Let us look at how bears relate to humans. Because of the psychological phobia of wild animals, many people see the bear as scary, to some extent. This could be because of its abilities and sizes.

In Captivity, Bear Can Breathe For At Least 30 years

The zoo you have in your town isn’t just for show. Zoos are not museums for the county and state, and the animals are not collections. Many times, the animals there are picked from dangerous and unfavorable environmental situations. Other times, they could have sustained an injury that may have reduced their chances of surviving in the wild.

When bears are taken in captivity, they are monitored closely in terms of health and are fed a proper diet. In captivity, a grizzly bear can stay up to 34 years. This is the same lifespan on a healthy and robust bear out there in the wild.

In the wild, the most apparent reason bears live long is that they are the ultimate predators. Sometimes, the bears don’t live up to 30 years because some things shorten their lifespan. Some studies show that one of the things that reduce the lifespan of a bear is human food consumption. This refers to the human foods that we live when we go camping or visit wildlife.

As Noted, Bears Have A Tendency Of Eating Fewer Animals And More Plants

While bears are identified as the natural and ultimate predators, they are more plant-eaters than flesh-eaters. So, you should not panic when you cross paths with a bear – they are probably looking at the plants around you.

Let us look at the eating habits of the brown and black bears. They take in many berries, insects, and even plants; these large bears are likely to eat food weighing about 30 pounds each day. This helps the bear to maintain its weight throughout an entire year. To put things into perspective, humans eat about ten times less the amount of food that bears eat.

Bears Fear Humans More Than Humans Fear Bears

Although bears have huge sizes to use to their advantage in a bear-human fight, they wouldn’t go to combat the first time. For starters, bears rarely approach humans when they make eye contact. Also, very few factors can make a bear approach, let alone attack a person.

This misinformed fear gives us the best way to keep bear away – scaring it by all means necessary. The recommendation is that when you meet a bear, you should ensure that you look large. If the bear pursues you and gets too close, you can try and make a loud noise. You should do many noisy things at the same time: yelling, screaming, and feet stomping. To make yourself look large to the bear and thus intimidate it, you can whip your jacket or coat around.

However, you should know that the method doesn’t always work. If the bear is a mama – mama bear – and has cubs that she feels are in danger, she may charge for you. Also, if the bear has experience interacting with humans, you may not be very successful with your attempts to throw her off.

Leave a Comment