The mighty grizzly bear is one of the most revered, feared, and iconic animals in the world! A full-grown grizzly bear may seem like a slow, lumbersome beast as it casually saunters around the wilderness in search of a meal, but these massive burins can also be astonishingly fast when they want to.
Grizzly bears, and most other bears in North America for that matter, tend to appear rather lazy much of the time in their natural habitats. They rather slowly lumber across the land, to and fro, without much sense of hurry or haste. It’s common to see bears laying around, taking naps for hours at a time, dreaming away the summer days…only to then take a really long nap in the winter. Grizzly bears, like any other wild animals, will generally do all they can to preserve their hard-earned calories which they need for survival, and they don’t waste their precious energy reserves needlessly. But make no mistake…they can move lightning fast when they need to or want to!
While the large coastal brown bears of places like Alaska typically don’t expend the energy needed to chase down, kill, and eat other large prey animals, grizzly bears, on the other hand, do. Grizzlies are generally smaller than the big coastal brown bears, they’re more aggressive, and they live in interior regions of wilderness. Like the Kodiak and coastal brown bears of the mainland of Alaska, grizzly bears are omnivores and they eat things such as berries, roots, rodents, worms and grubs, pine nuts, whatever carrion they can find, but they do also actively hunt down other mammals that live in the area, especially the young or wounded of those animals, which are much easier to catch.
When grizzly bears chase down a prey item to eat such as a moose calf or a wounded elk, they can reach speeds up to 35 miles per hour. And when startled or threatened, a grizzly bear can violently lash out in an instant, like a champion boxer. So again, while these majestic beasts can appear rather slow as they wander around the wilderness, don’t let their unhurried demeanor fool you, underneath all that fur and muscle is a creature that can run much faster than an Olympic sprinter. Check out the video below to see more…