Most species of bears are omnivorous. However, polar bears are carnivorous while the giant pandas are herbivorous.
Below is a video of a Grizzly bear eating grass.
There are eight species of bears in the world. These are as follows:
- North American Black Bear: This is the most common bear in North America. It is found in Florida north, Canada, Alaska, etc. It is omnivorous in nature. It can weigh up to 280kg (620 pounds). It can live up to 25 years in the wild.
- Brown Bear: This is found in Alaska, western Canada, parts of Washington, parts of Europe and Asia, etc. The North American brown bear is called Grizzly bear. Brown bears can weigh up to 700kg (1540 pounds). They are omnivorous in nature.
- Polar Bear: Polar bears live in the Arctic region. They are found in Alaska, Canada, Russia, Greenland, etc. They can weigh up to 800kg (1760 pounds). They are carnivorous in nature.
- Asiatic Black Bear: These live in the eastern Asia like Bangladesh, Cambodia, Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Korea, etc. They are omnivorous in nature.
- Andrean Bear: These are found only in Andes mountains in South America. They are endangered species. They are also referred to as spectacled bears. They are omnivores.
- Panda Bear: The giant pandas are endangered species. They are herbivorous in nature. They are famous for their love of bamboo as diet.
- Sloth Bear: Sloth bears live in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. They are nocturnal animals. They are omnivorous in nature. Just like pandas, they do not weigh much like other bigger bears. Their weight ranges between 55kg and 140kg.
- Sun Bear: Sun bears are the smallest species of bear. They live in south east Asia like Malaysia, Indonesia, India, China, etc.
When it comes to self defence especially against apex predators like tigers and lions, bears are very brutal in attacks. This is why tigers and lions would sometimes look away when they see bears.
Below is a video of a vicious encounter between a sloth bear and a tiger. Heat and scarcity of water made the two animals meet at a common waterhole and fight erupted between them. One of the advantages bears have over tigers is that bears have better stamina. Some of them are known to fight continuously for 30 to 40 minutes. Tigers don’t have that kind of stamina.
The fight went on for 15 minutes. At the end of the vicious encounter between the sloth bear and the tiger, the tiger retreated.
Below is another encounter between a sloth bear and two tigers.
Here is another encounter between the two animals.
For polar bears, they’re not that lucky. They’re carnivorous animals. They spend over 50% of their time hunting for food. Unfortunately again, only less than 2% of their hunts are successful. These are some of the factors that render them endangered species. Below is a video of mother polar bear desperately in need of food for her starving cub. She tried her luck on walrus without success.
Photo Credits: mission-blue.org, kormar.org, bearexpert.com, bearsinmind.org, flickr.org, rajajinationalpark.org, kidcyber.com.
Video Credits: Save Tiger, The Bamboo forest Safari Lodge, Modern TV, Sasquatch Alaska Adventure Co, National Geographic.