Fun Animal Facts

How Fast Can A Bear Run?

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by Heather Byron

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The answer to how fast a bear can run is relative because there are various species of bear. The three bear species native to North America are: polar bears, grizzly bears, and American black bears.

The grizzly bear runs the fastest, with top speeds of up to 35 mph (56 km/h).

Next is the American black bear. When provoked, a black bear can sprint between 40 to 48 km/h (25 and 30 mph). Polar bears are big but still move very quickly despite their size. Polar bears can run at speeds of up to 40 km/h (24 mph). Naturally, all bears do not move at the same pace; their weight and size impact how quickly they can run.

This article will give a detailed answer to the question, “how fast can a bear run?” by telling you why bears run fast, how far they can run, and what to do when you see a bear. Also, you will be able to compare the speed of a bear and that of a human to know which runs faster.

Why Bears Run Very Fast

Bears are prey. Most times, they are hunters. Black bears rarely go after their prey. Grizzly bears and polar bears frequently do. To avoid attackers, bears utilize their agility. They can move quickly ahead with the benefit of their large, powerful legs, and their hind legs are longer than the front ones.

Amazingly, a bear’s muscle does not weaken throughout the hibernation period. Bears could feel drowsy after the winter hibernation, but that is all. They rapidly return to their regular activities.

Bears run faster because of their big muscles and claws that are up to four inches in length and are strong, long, and pointed. When sprinting on soft ground, these claws come in quite handy. However, when running on rough terrain, these claws will make them move more slowly.

How Quickly Can Black Bears Run?

How Quickly Can Black Bears Run?

Lean black bears may go faster than 25 mph and can sprint on flat grounds, hilly or sloppy terrains. During winter, they can get overheated and get tired with ease.

Types of Bear and Their Speed

Here are some other types of bears and how fast they can run:

Kodiak bears are indigenous to the Kodiak Archipelago in Alaska. A Kodiak bear can achieve speeds of up to 25 mph and are capable of a brief run at 40 mph if they perceive danger.

The remaining part of the US is home to the Grizzly bear. These bears can cover small distances at rates of 35 mph, making them the fastest. Grizzly bears may attain speeds of up to 40 mph in dangerous conditions, just like their counterparts, Kodiak bears.

American Black Bears can reach speeds around 25 and 30 mph.

Polar bears are big. They have a 1,500-pound maximum weight, making them less swift than other bears. Nevertheless, a polar bear is still relatively fast, although being a little slower than other bears. Even on ice, they have a top speed of 25 mph.

Can A Human Being Outrun A Bear?

Avoid attempting to run from a bear; running away from a bear is never a good idea. Even though we tend to run quite quickly when afraid, it will be hard for us to escape when a bear is pursuing us. Also, don’t pretend to play dead as the bear will be curious and start picking at you.

A human being cannot outrun a bear; all bear species can chase and outrun a typical human. Only in the unlikely event that a polar bear was pursuing Usain Bolt would a human be able to outrun one.

Is Usain Bolt Faster Than A Bear?

Usain Bolt, the fastest runner in the world who holds multiple world records in sprinting sports, cannot outrun a stubborn grizzly or black bear at high speed.

Even though he shattered the world record of running 100 and 200 meters within the shortest possible time, he cannot run faster than a bear even while running at speeds of 27.8 mph (44.72 km/h), unless he is running away from a polar bear.

What Is The Speed Of A Grizzly Bear?

Grizzly bears can run at 35 mph (56 km/h), which is quicker than the fastest sprinter in running games. When standing on back legs, grizzly bears can reach heights of up to 8 feet.

Steps To Take When You Spot a Bear?

Despite popular misconceptions, bears are not genuinely interested in being near people. Therefore, you should talk loud when hiking; it will alert them to your presence and deter them from approaching.

Do not forget that a bear does not view you as prey or danger. It will not harm you once you are not moving unexpectedly or making loud noises.

Try using a calm tone to converse with the bear. Demonstrate that you are a human, not an animal. Climb to a place where you appear tall and wave your hands while trying to make yourself bigger.

Slowly begin to leave without turning your back, and keep an eye on the bear at all times. Move to the side if possible to see where you are heading. Continue doing this until you are too far away for a bear to be interested in you.

Have bear pepper spray at all times, too. It works and is a necessity when traveling through bear territory. A bear spray makes a bear’s eye, nose, and lungs get swollen when sprayed on its face, which entails that their sight gets affected, and they have breathing problems. You will not harm the bear by doing this.

After spraying the bear spray, you have 45 minutes to leave the place while the effects last.

In Summary

Bears are highly swift, muscular, and agile. Kodiak and polar bears, the Ursidae family’s slowest runners, travel at 25 mph, while grizzly bears take the top spot, running at 35 mph, and black bears can travel at speeds of 30 mph. They are too fast for even the most athletic human being on earth.

Never flee from a bear if you come across one while hiking. Remain composed and introduce yourself as a human. Additionally, arm yourself with bear pepper spray.

More sources:

https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/yell/vol14-1-2a.htm

https://www.fs.usda.gov/visit/know-before-you-go/bears/faqs

About
Heather Byron
I've been an animal lover for all my life. I'm currently showing that by managing a life-saving center for A New Leash on Life in Huntsville, AL. I love helping dogs and cats in finding their new fur-ever homes. If you are in the area please stop by any one of the 3 locations we have.
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