Woman Looks Out Her Window to See the Unbelievable Power of a Grizzly Dragging a Moose

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Written by Sharon Parry

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Bear staring into camera
© Lubos Chlubny/Shutterstock.com

Key Points

  • Grizzly bears can be about 5 feet tall at the shoulder, 9 feet long, and weigh up to 900 pounds.
  • Moose can be 6 feet tall at the shoulder, 10 feet long, and weigh up to 1,400 pounds.
  • Grizzly bears are omnivores, while moose are herbivores.

After recently moving to Alaska, the woman in this clip was woken by some distressing noises in the middle of the night! Out of her window, she witnessed a grizzly bear dragging the body of a moose calf. Even though this was a young moose, it was already a considerable size. The spectacle demonstrates the sheer power of a grizzly bear and their determination to secure a meal. Keep scrolling to see the full extraordinary footage.

What Do Grizzly Bears Normally Eat?

What Do Grizzly Bears Eat - Berries

Around 90 percent of a grizzly bear’s diet is made up of plants.

©Martin Rudlof Photography/Shutterstock.com

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We know that grizzly bears are omnivores and will therefore eat both plants and animals. They have a fearsome reputation and this particular clip may reinforce that view. However, you may be surprised to know that around 90 percent of their diet is made up of plants. Therefore, you will see them feasting on grasses, roots, pine seeds, and acorns. For something a little sweeter they eat apples, berries, and flowers.

To obtain some animal protein, grizzly bears eat fish, insects, and small rodents. They spend a lot of their time digging around in the earth and in rotting logs searching for roots and plant bulbs and will happily consume any insects or rodents that they come across. This is why they have a large hump on their shoulders – it is a well-developed muscle that allows them to be very efficient diggers!

Why Do Grizzlies Target Calves?

a mother moose nurtures her twin calves as they forage in the forest, the calf reaches to eat a twig

Moose, elk, and deer calves have to watch out for hungry bears.

©Green Mountain Exposure/Shutterstock.com

Sometimes grizzly bears require a larger meal than can be provided by insects and small animals. For example, when they emerge from hibernation they need a lot of calories to regain their condition. Moose calves are an attractive prospect for a grizzly. They provide a lot of nutrition without the risks associated with sharp antlers and are generally easier to catch.

Grizzlies often also target the young of deer, elk, sheep, bison, and mountain goats for the same reason. However, some larger grizzlies have been spotted trying to tackle adult moose and elk as well – particularly in the spring.

Research conducted in Alaska has shown that grizzly bears can become highly skilled at catching moose calves. They tend to target calves aged between birth to about two months of age. However, some individuals are much better at it than others.  

Is It Normal For Grizzly Bears to Hunt at Night?

Coastal Brown Grizzly bear carrying a salmon

Grizzly bears eat a diet rich in nuts, berries, roots, and fish.

©Kirk Hewlett/ via Getty Images

The scene in this footage was captured in the early morning – the family was still in bed. Most bears are active between dawn and dusk but there are no hard and fast rules. They have also been spotted in the middle of the night and precise habits are likely to vary with location.

Grizzly bears are opportunistic and have a varied diet, which may include elk, deer, fish, small mammals, and berries. They will also scavenge food from other animals such as moose carcasses. Grizzlies may hunt during the night if they come across an easy-to-catch meal or spot something that looks particularly delicious.

Moose are usually active at night but can also be seen during the day in some areas. During summer months when vegetation is plentiful moose are more likely to be seen in the daylight. They feed mainly on aquatic plants and grasses but will also eat shrubs, twigs, and leaves. Moose are generally safe from most predators during the day since they can outrun a grizzly bear or any other predator that tries to hunt them.

So while grizzlies may hunt at night if an opportunity presents itself, it is unlikely that they will actively seek out moose as their prey during this time of day.

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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