Chilko Tales

Identifying a Grizzly Bear

This is a fantastic picture taken by Josh Reimer during one of our Grizzly Bear Photography trips.  This photograph clearly identifies this bear as being a Grizzly Bear. The large hump of muscle and fat on the grizzly’s shoulders easily identifies the Grizzly from a Black Bear.  The large muscle is used for digging roots, flipping large boulders, or other large objects; Black Bear do not have the large hump.

You cannot identify a Grizzly Bear from a Black Bear by color alone. I have seen pitch black Grizzly Bears and brown Black Bears.  A Grizzly Bears shaggy fur comes in many colors, black, cinnamon, red, blond, or a mixture of these colors.  

The grizzly bear gets its name from the light-tipped guard hairs that give them a “grizzled” look. They are sometimes called a “Silver Tip Grizzly”.

A Grizzly Bear has very large and obvious claws. The claw marks are also apparent in the tracks they leave behind. A Black Bears claws are small, less obvious in their tracks.

These animals are so incredible to see in their natural habitat.

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