Do You Know This Bear Fact: How Fast Can A Bear Run?

Chong Lhungdim
Feb 29, 2024 By Chong Lhungdim
Originally Published on Oct 28, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Two brown bears running on snow in forest.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 4.4 Min

Are you curious about the running speed of a bear?

Bears are quite cute, yet scary to come in contact with. They have a good amount of speed, which is enough for moving about daily.

Bears generally weigh around 661.4 lb (300 kg), and when they stand on their hind legs, these wild beasts can reach between 8-9 ft (2.4-2.7 m) in height. In the 1930s, Yellowstone National Park recorded that at on average, a bear could move about speeds of 25-28 mph (40.2-45.1 kph), for over two miles.

A human can move at a pace of 15 mph (24.1 kph), which is quite slow and clearly not enough to keep up with a bear's speed. Now, the question is, can you outrun a bear? Unfortunately no, since the fastest human, Usain Bolt, can reach a top speed of just over 27 mph (43.5 kph), which is similar to the bear's running speed but it has been found that most bears can reach up to a speed of 30-35 mph (48.3-56.3 kph), depending on the species. Therefore, this is one of the reasons why staying away from bears in the wild is necessary, unless you are the great Usain Bolt, or even then as bears are dangerous. But luckily, the good news is that bears are one of the animals which do not attack humans easily, without a reason, they may only attack when they feel threatened or when they are defending their territory and cubs. But, it is always recommended to maintain distance from them at all times. There are different bear species, right from grizzly bear to polar bear, brown bear, and black bears and their running speed also differs. A bear's speed also increases when they are running downhill.

For more factual content, you can also check out these Mexican grizzly bear and how far can a skunk spray.

How fast can a grizzly bear run in mph?

Grizzly bears are among the fastest bear species. Apart from their strong claws, muscles, and scary appearance, they are quite good at running too. They can move at an average speed of around 34.8 mph (56 kph), which is helpful for them, especially when they hunt.

Grizzlies are great runners among other bears in nature, which is why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services suggests that humans encountering them should never run from them as you do not want to race them since they will outrun you in seconds. Instead, avoid them or stay calm and wait for them to move away. This way the bear will know you are not a threat to them. Grizzly bears can weigh up to 595.2 lb (270 kg), and the bigger ones have been reported to be able to move at 35 mph (56.3 kph). They have quite strong legs and a shoulder that is mass-topped with muscle.

How fast can a black bear run in mph?

The black bear, or American black bear, is another bear species with great speed. They can reach 35 mph (56.3 kph) over the course of a mile, which means it can easily outrun humans, including the fastest human, Usain Bolt.

These bears are among the smallest, yet they can weigh up to 400 lb (181.4 kg). They have strong feet and claws which helps them to climb trees and run around. They are playful and active in nature. Black bears are the fastest among the eight bear families. They have a body description that is fat and chubby and are quite cute in appearance. They have dark black bodies, compared to other bears which are mostly brown in color.

Kamchatka brown bear running in the water

How fast can a polar bear run in mph?

Polar bears generally inhabit continental coastlines, arctic regions, and cold regions. They weigh around 992.1 lb (450 kg), which is quite big compared to other bears species. They are fluffy and have thick fur to help them adapt to cold regions, their natural habitat.

A polar bear can run up to 24.9 mph (40 kph), which is slightly lower than the top speed of Usain Bolt, the fastest human. However, unless you are Usain Bolt, do not try racing or running from them in the wild. According to scientists, their big weight and the cold temperatures have contributed to their slow speed. However, they have great endurance for cold temperature as they have adapted to it and they originally exist for such climate.

How fast can a bear run on two feet?

It is quite uncommon for bears to run on two feet, as they cannot move that quickly in such a position. They only stand on two feet to smell or take a better look at something. When they stand on two feet, like humans, they cannot run, but walk at a slow pace, like that of humans.

Their exact speed of running or walking on two feet has not been identified yet, as it is quite uncommon to spot a bear running with two feet. Bears prefer to run with their four feet and not two since they do not have long endurance in this human-like standing position.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions forhow fast can a bear run, then why not take a look at are roses edible, or amazing Atlantic Ocean animals: explore the great marine life.

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Written by Chong Lhungdim

Bachelor's degree specializing in Economics, Master's degree specializing in Public Policy

Chong Lhungdim picture

Chong LhungdimBachelor's degree specializing in Economics, Master's degree specializing in Public Policy

With extensive knowledge in economics, public policy, and finance, Chong is a highly qualified professional with a Bachelor's degree in Economics St Andrew's College of Arts, Science and Commerce and a Postgraduate degree in Public Policy from the University of Mumbai. Her enthusiasm for research and content writing has led her to develop expertise in various fields of economic and public policy analysis. Chong has experience in research, data analysis, and producing high-quality content.

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