How To Identify Alaska's Bears

You can find three types of bears in Alaska: brown, black, and polar bears.

Brown Bears

Brown bears are the most common. In the Interior, they are called grizzly bears and are smaller and lighter brown. These bears have rounder faces than blacks, along with a noticeable muscular hump at their shoulders, giving them the strength to unearth ground squirrels from deep within their burrows. Also, brown bear feet can average twice the size of black bear feet—compare the distances between the claw and pad imprints.

Black bears

Black bears are found in forested areas. They have Roman noses and shorter, more curved claws than brown bears. Also, their toes are in curved lines and more separated than the brown.

Polar Bears

Polar bears live along the Arctic coast—you won't see them in the Interior.


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