What’s a Baby Bear Called + 5 More Amazing Facts!

Written by Sadie Dunlap
Published: December 26, 2021
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Baby bears are incredibly large creatures! Did you know the threatening apex predator loves to eat berries and fruit? How about that black bears may not always have black fur? Stick around to learn some amazing baby bear facts and see some adorable baby bear cub photos!

#1: A Baby Bear is Called a Cub!

baby bear and mother

Newborn bears are called cubs!


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When a baby bear is born, it’s called a cub. Cubs are born to sows, their adult mothers, and boars, their adult fathers. A group of baby bear cubs it’s called a litter, but a group of adult bears is called a sleuth or sloth. 

Cubs are called cubs until they’re about a year old. Then, they’re called yearlings. Yearlings stay with their mothers until they’re a year and a half to two years old. 

#2: Baby Black Bears are Not Always Black

baby bear climbing

The spirit bear is a black bear with white fur!


Some black bear cubs are born with fur that doesn’t exactly match their name. Did you know a black bear’s fur can range from light blonde to blue-gray? 

The Kermode, a subspecies of black bear, is also known as the split bear due to its white fur, despite being a black bear. The spirit bear is located in Alaska and is nicknamed the spirit bear because it has ghostly white fur.

#3: Baby Bears are Tiny

baby bear running

Bear cubs are as tiny as the palm of your hand as newborns.


Bear cubs are on average one pound at birth and can easily fit in the palm of your hand. By the time they’re 6 months old, they weigh about 6 pounds. 

As adults, though, they are extremely large. An adult male black bear weighs an average of 400 pounds and an adult female weighs around 200 pounds. In comparison to how large they get to be, bear cubs are tiny!

#4: There are Only 8 Species of Baby Bears

baby bear cubs

There are eight different types of bears.


Unlike many other animals, there are only eight different types of bears. Here’s a quick rundown:

Don’t worry, we didn’t forget one. The grizzly bear is a part of the brown bears! In fact, brown and black bears have many, many subspecies. 

#5: Asatic Bear Cubs Live in Trees

baby bear siblings

Asiatic bear cubs make their homes in trees!


Asiatic bear cubs build nests in trees to sleep, hide, and even snack. Most bears live under rocks or in caves to make a den, however, this bear takes a different approach. 

Mother bears build nests in trees for themselves and for their babies, and the cubs grow up learning to survive while living in a tree. Some species even use trees as babysitters for their cubs. The mothers don’t go far and the cubs can alert their mother if they see the danger. 

#6: Sunbear Cubs Learn on the Go

baby bear cubs in tree

Sun Bear

cubs have fur-free paws that make it easier for them to live in trees.

©iStock.com/Michel VIARD

Unlike most other species of bears, Sun Bear cubs are ready to go out with mom and start the journey as early as 2 months old! 

Sun Bears have several evolutionary advantages that make it possible for them to make their homes in the trees. For example, they have tiny, four-inch paws that make them nimble enough to balance on branches. Their paws are also free of hair, making it easier to gain traction.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Byrdyak

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What are baby bears called?

Baby bears are called cubs. Female bears are called sows and male bears are called boars. A pack of baby bear cubs is called a litter and a group of adult bears is called a sloth or sleuth. Baby bears are cubs until they’re two years old, at that time they become yearlings. 

How much do baby bears weigh?

There are eight species of bears, but on average a newborn baby bear cub will weigh anywhere from half a pound to a pound and a half. By the time a baby bear cub is ready to emerge in the springtime, they will have put on around five pounds of weight. 

What do baby bears eat?

Bears are mammals, therefore their young nurses from their mother. While the mother bear is napping away in hibernation, her cubs will nurse until content. Once they’ve made their way out of the den, the cubs will begin weaning from their mom’s milk in the summer and will start tasting their mom’s food once they leave the den. Bears like to eat fish, leaves, bugs, fruit, berries, and much more! 

Where do baby bears live?

Cubs are born in dens that their mothers choose for birth and hibernation. They’re born between November and February and stay in the den until Springtime when they will all come out together to see the world for the first time. Once out of the birthing den, the family will move on to find shelter that would better suit their growing family.

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