Mexican Grizzly Bear: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!


Share this article

These Mexican grizzlies are not the only species that have become extinct due to human activities. The brown bear may be found abundant across North America and Eurasia, however, some of the types of its subspecies are extinct, and only two of them exist. The extant subspecies incorporate the Peninsular grizzly that is an inhabitant of Alaska, and the Kodiak bear of the southwest region of Alaska. The three other types of subspecies, including the Ungava-labrador grizzly, California grizzly, and the Mexican grizzly bear, have undergone extinction. Mexican grizzlies, as the name suggests, once dwelled in the northern territories of Mexico. These Mexican grizzlies were some of the most prominent mammals, but they were comparatively small bears compared to California and Canada bears. The first Mexican grizzly bear sightings were recorded in the 16th century. It is believed that when the Spanish explorer Vázquez de Coronado was on a voyage to the Seven Cities of Gold, he and his fellow conquistadors came across the Mexican grizzlies for the first time. The bears of Central Mexico, Chihuahua, Durango, and Sonora are somehow connected to the bears of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

Want to learn more about the Mexican grizzly bears and why they became extinct? then scroll below for more pieces of information.

If you like these articles then check our other articles on the grizzly bear and North American black bear and share these facts with everyone.

Mexican Grizzly Bear Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Mexican grizzly bear?

One of the heaviest mammals once in Mexico, the Mexican grizzly bear is a subspecies of the notable brown bear of North America. The Mexican grizzly bear scientific name is Ursus arctos horribilis. Nevertheless, the former scientific name of this bear was Ursus arctos nelsoni. This species can be referred to by both scientific names.

What class of animal does a Mexican grizzly bear belong to?

This bear belongs to the class of mammal and it is a subspecies of brown bears, of order Carnivora, family Ursidae and genus Ursus.

How many Mexican grizzly bears are there in the world?

Mexican grizzlies were once considered a threatened species, but are now contemplated as extinct or extirpation as they are not found in their habitat. Therefore, the Mexican grizzly bear population is zero due to hunting, being shot, and being poisoned.

Where does a Mexican grizzly bear live?

The Mexican grizzly bear range covered the region of northern Mexico. Mainly from Arizona to New Mexico, and also the area of Texas. Nonetheless, the former range of these species started reducing with a declining population. They dwelled in the isolated mountains of the Chihuahua state including Sierra del Nido in the north of Chihuahua city, Cerro Santa Clara, and Cerro Campana.

What is a Mexican grizzly bear's habitat?

The ideal habitat of the Ursus arctos nelsoni before their extinction was the hilly pine forest of the Chihuahua, temperate grassland. However, these grizzly bears learned to adapt themselves to the arid climate of Sonora and canyonlands.

Who do Mexican grizzly bears live with?

These grizzly bears are primarily solitary animals but territorial. Not much has been documented regarding Mexican grizzlies but being its subspecies, they may share similar aspects.

How long does a Mexican grizzly bear live?

The lifespan of the Ursus arctos nelsoni in the wild was somewhere between 20-25 years.

How do they reproduce?

Female grizzly bears attain sexual maturity by the time they become four to five years old. The mating season commences from May and extends to July. But impregnating a female bear depends on the amount of fat that the female has gained. If the fat is not sufficient, then reproduction is not successful. The process of reproduction is sexual and implantation can only occur if the fat accumulation is sufficient. Implantation may occur between October and November and the gestation period is 180-250 days. The female gives birth to one to three cubs and plays a crucial role in raising them as male bears do not participate.

What is their conservation status?

 The conservation status of the Mexican grizzly bear is Extinct according to IUCN.

Mexican Grizzly Bear Fun Facts 

What does Mexican grizzly bear look like?

The Ursus arctos nelsoni or Mexican grizzly bear was slightly smaller than bears of Canada and California and had an approximate height of 6 ft (1.8 m) and weight of 701 lb (318 kg). The bodies of these bears were covered in fur that had a range from pale yellow to grayish white. The undercoat was dark. Their fur looked silvery for which it was tagged as el oso plateado. While the neck and side were thickly covered in fur, the belly was sparsely covered with no undercoat.

We've been unable to source an image of a Mexican grizzly bear and have used an image of a grizzly bear instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a Mexican grizzly bear, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected]

(This bear was called el oso plateado because of its silvery fur.)

How cute are they?

These bears were massive and were intimidating, and therefore not cute.

How do they communicate?

They moaned, growled, or grunted to communicate.

How big is a Mexican grizzly bear?

This species was considered the largest mammal in Mexico as it was 6 ft (1.8 m), it was slightly smaller than California bears which were 8 ft (2.4 m).

How fast can a Mexican grizzly bear run?

The exact speed of this subspecies is not documented however grizzly bears can reach a speed of 34.8 mph (56 kph).

How much does a Mexican grizzly bear weigh?

The weight of Ursus arctos nelsoni wsa around 701 lb (318 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male bears are called boars while female bears are called sows.

What would you call a baby Mexican grizzly bear?

The term assigned to baby bears is a cub.

What do they eat?

The Ursus arctos nelsoni was an omnivore and as they are related to brown bears, they were very fond of ants. Their main source of food was plants, small mammals, insects, and fruits.

Are they dangerous?

They are extinct now.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they won't.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

Inland grizzly bears are comparatively smaller than the grizzly bears that inhabit near the coasts.

The length of their front claws is approximately 2-4 in (5.1-10.2 cm) while the claws of a black bear is 1-2 in (2.5-5.1 cm).

How did the Mexican grizzly bear go extinct?

The population of these bears declined greatly due to hunting. They were shot and poisoned as they were deemed as pests. Only 30 Mexican grizzly bears remained in the '60s and by 1964, the entire population was considered to be extinct. Their geographic range also decreased as they were only found in the Chihuahua states, precisely in the regions of Sierra del Nido, Cerro Santa Clara, and Cerro Campana.

How does it compare to other grizzly bears?

Mexican grizzly bears were smaller than the extinct Calfornia grizzly bears and the extant Kodiak bears which is 8 ft (244 cm). As all of them are subspecies of the brown bear, the coat had a similar brownish tinge to it with blond or silvery tips. Mexican grizzly bears may have differed based on their size, range, and slight variation of their coat.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our Pyredoodle facts and Kodiak bear facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable grizzly bear coloring pages.

*We've been unable to source an image of a Mexican grizzly bear and have used an image of a grizzly bear instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a Mexican grizzly bear, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected]

Subscribe for virtual tools, STEM-inspired play, creative tips and more

By joining Kidadl you agree to Kidadl’s and and consent to receiving marketing communications from Kidadl.