Watch a Hungry Grizzly Bear Sneak Up on a Moose Family

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: May 1, 2023
© Ghost Bear/
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Key Points:
  • When approached by a bear, a moose will usually run away and can reach speeds of 35 mph.
  • Moose are the largest of all the deer family and an adult can be six feet to the shoulder.
  • Usually, solitary except during breeding season, a moose without calves would put up a fight against a grizzly.

On the icy shores of a lake, a mother moose makes a fatal error in not taking the approach of a grizzly bear seriously. All we can do is watch as the bear approaches and then takes one of her calves. She seems to be helpless and simply lets it happen.

North American grizzly bear
Grizzlies prey on moose and are quick to go after babies.

©Dennis W Donohue/

Bears as Predators

Moose have size, stamina, and a good swift kick in their defense arsenal.


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We see the grizzly spot the moose and her two calves on the water’s edge. The Mom moose is standing in the water but the two calves are curled up on the shore. As the grizzly slowly approaches, we can see the unmistakable muscular hump between the shoulder blades. We can also note the ‘grizzled’ appearance of the fur.

One of the calves gets up in time and bolts into the water to be with the mother. The other is not so fast and pays the ultimate price. The Mom looks on helplessly.

Moose in shallow water
Moose will often head into the water when pursued by predators

©Mark Byer/

Moose are the largest of all the deer family and an adult can be six feet to the shoulder. They feed on plants and that includes aquatic plants which explains why this female may be close to the water. They live a solitary life apart from during the breeding season and are very peaceful apart from when challenged by a predator.

Their predators include brown bears and they would usually be expected to put up a fight.

Moose Fighting Off Bears

black bear
Both black and brown bears find moose to be a source of meaty sustenance

©Josef Pittner/

Moose are preyed upon by bears, wolves, and humans. They provide a valuable source of meat for both black and brown bears. An adult moose would provide multiple meals for a bear but is more of a challenge to catch. If possible, bears target the calves.

When approached by a bear, a moose will usually run away and can reach speeds of 35 mph. Bears can also run at the same speed but they lack the stamina for a long chase. They also stamp the ground and will use their antlers, if they have any, as well as leap and jump around.

This uses up a lot of energy for the predators but we need to remember that calves do not have the stamina of adults. Moose also has a hefty kick that can leave even a large bear dazed. A further defense tactic is to head for water which may have happened here. Sadly for the moose, it did not work on this occasion.

Watch this bear help itself to a moose calf

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It’s not a sight you’d expect to see often, but here it is. A brown bear running for dear life. The cause of its fright? A wolf, hot on its heels. They both dash past a granite rock and the video comes to an end. In its defense, the bear was rather small and most likely a youngster. After all, in the wild, size and ferocity, trump everything else.

When the tables turn: watch this bear execute a quick getaway from a wolf

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Moose and two calves
Bears target moose calves because they are easier to catch
© Ghost Bear/

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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