Bear Lifespan: Know Curious Kids Facts On Different Bears Species!

Anusuya Mukherjee
Oct 19, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Oct 28, 2021
Adult Grizzly Bear In The Forest
Age: 3-18
Read time: 4.7 Min

You have probably heard about the famous brown bear and grizzly bear that are a part of the Ursidae family.

The scientific name for Urisdae is Ursus arctos. While we’re on the topic of a bear’s life span, the brown bear and grizzly bears can live up to 25 years!

Bears are known to be dark brown in color, eating fish and wildlife and climbing trees. The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is known to be a bear species that is large in size and located across Eurasia and North America. In North America, the majority of the populations of brown bears are known as grizzly bears. The subspecies of these bears that inhabits the Kodak Island of Alaska are known as the Kodiak brown bear. Bears are considered to be one of the largest terrestrial mammals to have ever lived. The habitat range of the brown bear is found in parts of Central Asia, Russia, Canada, China, the United States, Finland, and many more regions. In several European countries, the brown bear, Ursus arctos, is recognized as a state and national animal.

Keep reading to learn more fascinating facts about animals from this tree-climbing species! Afterward, do check out spectacled bear facts and bear diet.

How long does a bear live in the wild?

As we know, the bear species is known to belong to the family of Ursidae. Male bears can be as small in size as 60 lb (27.2 kg) and 4 ft (1.21 m) long, like the sun bear, or 1000 lb (453.5 kg) and 8 ft (2.43 m) long, like the polar bear. On average, bears can live up to the age of 50 years in captivity and 25 years of age in the wild. In fact, 6 species, which include the giant panda and polar bear, have been included in the IUCN red list as Vulnerable and Threatened.

These bear species are often found living in their dens near trees throughout Europe, Asia, South America, and North America. Bears have an excellent sense of smell, short tails, and non-retractable claws. Except for mother bears with their cubs, they are quite solitary in nature. There are eight species of bears, which are brown bears (including grizzly bears), giant pandas, Asiatic black bears (also known as moon bears), polar bears, North American black bears, sun bears, sloth bears, and spectacled bears (or Andean bears). During winters, bears hibernate in their dens due to the fact that food is scarce during this time. They live off the layer of fat they spend time building over the summer by eating wildlife and fish.

What is the oldest bear?

Debbie is known to be the oldest bear to ever exist. She was a polar bear as per the Guinness Book of World Records. She is believed to be the oldest member of the bear species.

After her birth in the Soviet Arctic in the year 1966, Debby was shifted to the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg in 1967 when she was a year old. During her time in captivity with her mate Skipper, she gave birth to six cubs. Around November of 2008, it was determined that, due to multi-organ dysfunction, it was better to euthanize her at the age of 42 years. Debbie was alive from 1966 till November of 2008, making her one of the oldest bears.

Sloth Bear (Melurus ursinus)

Is bear 399 still alive?

Bear 399 is of the same species of grizzly bears who were documented on YouTube eating and killing a calf along with help from cubs. Grizzly 399 is quite adept at catching newborn elk. She lives in the Bridger-Teton National Forest and vast Grand Teton National Park.

The Grizzly bear 399 was born in the year 1966 in Wyoming. She was living in a den near the Pilgrim Creek region. The Yellowstone Inter Agency Grizzly Bear Study team gave her the number 399. Weighing 400 lb (181 kg) and standing 7 ft (2.13 m) tall, she was faster than a racehorse. No deadly encounters have been noticed from her despite her habitat being located near to humans. She is known as the most famous grizzly bear in the world.

How many bears are killed every year?

Throughout the US, a human killing an American black bear is seen as a common practice. It is said by the Western Wildlife Outreach that around 50,000 black bears are hunted in North America each year legally. The American black bear species are also illegally poached from their habitats by people who want to take their claws, paws, gallbladder, and genitalia. They use this in Asian medicines. However, there are some reasons why these beautiful wild creatures are hunted legally.

In Oregon, bears that frequently interact with humans are killed by officials in parks and residential areas. These bears are also referred to as nuisance bears. In many other states, bear hunts take place to control the population of the species in various habitats. According to the National Wildlife Federation, they are growing in numbers. It is said that these bears are seen as large raccoons by humans and cause quite an annoyance to them. Also, some states are said to hold bear hunts to control the population of other animals. According to the Humane Society of the US, these problems are barely solved by hunting bears down, and letting them die just adds to the many cases of cruelty against animals.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for bear lifespan: know curious kids facts on different bears species! then why not take a look at why do cats puke, or purrrfect facts about the Ragamuffin cat kids will love.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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