Filmed on the border of Lake Clark National Park in Alaska, this short clip is a close-up view of a huge grizzly bear scratching up against a tree. The tree stands up quite well but loses a few of its smaller branches in the encounter! We learn that this grizzly has just had a fight with another bear and, according to the video notes, he is marking his territory and displaying his dominance by rubbing up against this tree.
All About Grizzly Bears
Grizzly bears are found widely in North America and inhabit forests and mountainous regions. They live for around 25 years and can weigh up to 700 pounds and measure 10 feet in length. They are also called brown bears and are sometimes called the North American Brown Bear. The name “grizzly” refers to their grizzled appearance – their fur has light tips and is quite long. These bears also have large heads and dish-shaped faces although their ears are short and round. These guys are also stocky and have a distinctive muscular hump on their upper back. They need this muscle for digging.
Grizzlies spend most of their time alone although they can gather around sources of food. Eating is a huge part of a grizzly’s life – they need a lot of food (90 pounds a day) especially when they are preparing for hibernation. As they are omnivores, they eat plants (berries, roots, and grass) as well as animals (insects, fish, deer, and mice). They are also quite happy to pinch waste food from people’s garbage cans.
Grizzly Bears and Dominance
Despite their huge size and power, grizzlies don’t like to fight that often because it risks them getting injured. They would prefer to show their dominance by posturing and they do this in a number of ways. It can involve movement, sounds, odors, and rubbing up against trees.
They are territorial animals and each male needs up to 500 square miles to roam around but it is possible for territories to overlap. They once roamed all over the western United States but human settlers caused a huge loss of their habitat making them retreat to higher ground and remote locations. They became extinct in California in the early 1900s even though they are on the state flag. Inland Alaska, where this video was filmed, still has a healthy population of grizzlies.
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