Species Profile: The Kodiak Bear

The Kodiak Bear is one of the largest bears on Earth today: it’s second only to the Polar Bear.

A Kodiak Bear In A German Zoo
A Kodiak Bear In A German Zoo (Author: S. Taheri/Wiki Commons cc by-s.a. 3.0)

The Kodiak bear is a native of the Alaskan Kodiak Archipelago islands.

This bear is a subspecies of the brown bear. In fact, it’s the second largest of brown bears: only the Polar Bear can surpass it.

Apart from its intimidating size and exclusive habitat, there isn’t much difference between this bear and other brown bears especially the grizzlies.

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10 Of The Best Places To See Bears In The Wild Worldwide

Here are the best places to see bears in the wild worldwide.

Brown Bears: see bears in the wild
A Small Group Of Brown Bears Near A Dam.

Though all bear species look cute and cuddly – they are certainly not teddy bears! An encounter with a bear in the wild is surely an unforgettable experience. And interestingly, bears seem to have a penchant for dwelling in some of the most beautiful and picturesque places on Earth.

If you are looking forward to seeing one or more different species of these intimidating creatures in their natural habitat, here are 10 options for you. Definitely you should find a location close to you.

10 Of The Best Places To See Bears In The Wild Worldwide

1) Churchill, Canada. Species: Polar Bears

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Species Profile: The Polar Bear

The Polar Bear is the largest land carnivore on Earth, only the Kodiak bear can rival it in size.

Polar Bear Sow In Alaska
Polar Bear Sow Near Kaktovik, Barter Island, Alaska. (Author: Alan Wilson – www.naturespicsonline.com. cc by-s.a. 3.0)

The polar bear is a carnivorous bear that’s also classified as a marine mammal because of its native dwelling place exclusively within the Arctic Circle, and surrounding land masses.

This is a large bear. In fact, it’s rivaled in size only by the Kodiak bear with some individuals weighing over 1500 pounds (700 kg).

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Species Profile: The Sloth Bear

The Sloth Bears are the only bears that carry their young on their backs and they absolutely love to eat termites!

A Sloth Bear At A Zoo In Washington DC
A Sloth Bear At A Zoo In Washington, D.C. (Author: Asiir/Wiki Commons. P.D.)

The Sloth Bear is a reclusive, insectivorous mammal of the Ursid family that’s native to parts of the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka. They are easily recognized by their long, shaggy, somewhat unkempt looking black fur, and relatively trimmer stature when compared to brown and Asian black bears.

They have long (4 inch), crescent-shaped claws, a thick, long muzzle and a lower lip and palate specially adapted for expertly sucking up insects like termites and honeybees. Sloth bears also have very large floppy ears and knee-jointed legs that allows them to assume almost any position.

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Species Profile: The Sun Bear

The Sun Bear is commonly referred to as the “honey bear”, but make no mistake: this bear is a fearsome predator.

Female Sun Bear at a Zoo
Female Sun B At The Zoo Of Basel. Look At Those Impressive Claws! (Author: Tambako The Jaguar cc by-s.a. 2.0)

The Sun Bear holds the title of the smallest bear worldwide. It’s found in parts of the tropical forest habitats of Southeast Asia.

This bear is also called the “honey bear”, because of its almost insatiable appetite for honey and honeycombs. The sun bear is characteristically jet-black with a contrasting crescent shaped mark on the neck area hence the name “sun bear.”

Though a few individuals are red/gray in color.

This bear is known for its excessively aggressive behavior and may frequently attack “intruders” without warning. Its robust teeth, powerful bite force, and long, curved claws make for a very dangerous combination.

In fact, these bears are generally considered among some of the most dangerous animals you can encounter in the jungle!

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21 Facts About Bears You Probably Didn’t Know

Here are 21 facts about bears cutting across different species.

Large Grizzly Bear : Facts about bears
A Large, Adult Grizzly Bear

Bears are well-known animals: some species more well-known than others. Here are some little known facts about them cutting across some of the different bear species alive today.

1) A group of bears is called a sloth or sleuth.

2) The polar bear is the largest of all bears. Males of the species can measure up to 3 meters (10 feet) long and weigh 680 kg (1,500 lbs.) That’s actually about the combined weight of eight human adults. Females are about 50 percent smaller than the males.

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Species Profile: The American Black Bear

Meet one of the most commonly seen and well-known bears on the North American continent: The American Black Bear.

American Black Bear
American Black Bear, Riding Mountain Park, Manitoba, Canada (Author: Diginatur/Wiki Commons cc 3.0)

The American black bear is a medium-sized bear that’s native to North America. It’s actually the smallest among the three bear species found in North America: black bears, brown bears, and polar bears. This bear is the most common and widely distributed among all bear species in that region.

In fact, it’s also the world’s most common bear species.

Unlike the grizzly bear, they don’t have a pronounced shoulder hump. Also, they don’t have retractable claws and this allows them to climb trees very well.

Though they are called ‘black,’ many variations in color exist. In the east most are black with a brown muzzle, in the west some are brown, cinnamon, or even blonde-colored. There are even some with white-bluish fur: these are known as Kermode (glacier) bears and they exist only in coastal British Columbia in Canada.

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Everything You Need To Know About Bear Attacks

Everything you need to know about bear attacks especially when you’re in bear country.

Polar Bear With Cubs: Bear attacks
A She-Bear With Cubs Must Be Avoided By All Means.

With an average weight of 454 kg. (1,000 lbs.), and sharp claws, it’s obvious that bears can do some serious damage to the human body.

But the operative word here is ‘can’ not ‘will.’ They won’t just attack you out of nowhere.

In fact, human encounters with bears happen quite often yet aggressive behavior is rare and full-on bear attacks are even rarer.

Most bears would rather avoid you anyway as they are as frightened and as startled as you are to see them.

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Species Profile: The Spectacled Bear

Learn every detail you need to know about the spectacled bear.

Spectacled Bear Or Andean Bear
The Spectacled or Andean Bear.

The spectacled bear is a solitary bear that’s only found in the Andes mountain range of the South American continent. This bear is actually the only bear native to South America. In the wild, its territory ranges from Northwest Argentina, to Peru, Venezuela and Brazil.

This bear species is the only surviving species of native bear in South America and the only extant short-faced bear from its subfamily: Tremarctinae. They have a more rounded face and shorter snout when compared to other living bears like the polar bear, or brown bear.

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The Giant Prehistoric Bears That Dwarf Modern Bear Species

Here’s some evidence, and a video, that shows just how puny the largest bears today look compared to the now extinct giant prehistoric bears.

Restoration of the cave bear: Giant Prehistoric Bears
Life Restoration Of European Cave Bear (Author: Sergiodlarosa cc by-s.a. 3.0)

If you think Kodiak bears and Polar bears are scary at maximum heights in the range of 3 meters (9.8 feet), wait till you read about some of the giant prehistoric bears we’ve got lined up for you. Some easily weighed up to 3,500 pounds and stood at 3.7 meters (12 feet tall).

Also, if fossil evidence is anything to go by, these bears were among the most fearsome land predators and in the company of dinosaurs, and mammoths (though the mammoth was herbivorous).

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