How do I tell a Black Bear from a Grizzly Bear?

The most common North American bears are the black bear and the grizzly bear.








The black bear is the smaller of the two, uniformly black, brown, blond, or cinnamon in color. The shorter claws of the black bear are better for climbing.

Grizzly bears often have medium to dark brown legs, hump, and under parts with light-tipped (grizzled) fur on their head and upper body. The grizzly’s distinctive shoulder hump is actually muscle mass that enables powerful digging with its long claws.

images reprinted with the permission of Be Bear Aware Campaign

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