Bear looks surprised

Ten facts about brown bears

Intriguing facts about Europe's largest predator

  • There are around 180,000 to 200,000 brown bears worldwide. Most of them live in Alaska, Canada and Russia where the brown bear can still roam vast areas almost unpopulated by human beings and covered in forests.
  • The brown bear can reach a weight of between 150 and 370 kilogrammes depending on age, sex and season.
  • Despite their weight, the animals can cover short distances at speeds of up to 50 km/h.
  • Brown bears are generally loners who will only seek a mate for short periods.
  • At birth, bear cubs are blind and naked.
  • In the wild, these omnivores spend up to 16 hours a day looking for food, which is reflected in the saying 'hungry as a bear'.
  • Bears have a particularly good nose: their sense of smell enables them to sniff food at a distance of several kilometres.
  • Brown bears in the wild are mainly active at dusk and at night.
  • In the wild, brown bears can reach a maximum age of between 20 and 30 years. In captivity, they can get even older.
  • The brown bear is the largest predator still living on the continent of Europe.