06.21.2012 11:04 AM

Do bears eat dandelions beside the woods?

Apparently! To the delight of me and my kids, we spotted this big boy on the side of Highway 3 yesterday, outside Hope.  We also shot a video of this big fella.

Question: is this guy a grizzly? Bear experts, step up!


  1. It’s hard to tell from a small picture. But it appears to have a hump over its shoulders, so it looks like a grizz to me.

  2. Craig says:

    Yep, looks like it to me. Colour is right and it looks like it has the grizzly “hump”.

  3. JamesHalifax says:

    It looks like a Grizzly, Warren.

    Did you happend to get a chance to see it’s snout? A Kodiak bear wouldn’t usually make an appearance where you are, so I would say yes, it’s a grizzly. If the snout was more of an upturned feature, it could be a Kodiak who smelled a nice tasty Liberal.

    Of course…If I’m wrong, I’ll ditch my degrees, quit my job…and settle for becoming a real estate agent. Then I could forget about everything I know and spend all day driving around hoping someone likes the house I’m lying about.

  4. bigcitylib says:

    The vid’s a black. The color is right for a grizzly on this one, but the only way to tell for sure is to get close enough that you can count the teeth.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      You first.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      Hold still, bear…hold still…er, wait..let go!! OUch!!..Oh god…..1..2..3…OUwwwww!!!! (chomp Chomp)…4….567….89….AA!!AHHH!!!……10, 11, 12…..Dammnit!!let go, Ouch!!..geez..who’s blood is that? OUCH!!…..(rip, rend)….tear….13141516…Oompf!!

      yep. It’s a grizz.

  5. jp says:

    Looks like it has the grizzly hump, but I’m no expert.

  6. Quentin says:

    No, it’s a lost Liberal..!

  7. Peter says:

    The area seen and the colour look about right for a grizzly, though there are black bears that are brown and black bears in that area. It’s hard to see any distinguishing characteristics from your picture, but there appears to be a blurry hint of a shoulder hump. A closer view of the head would probably be needed to make a more solid guess, but I’d go with grizzly.

  8. aboucher says:

    Based on the longer ears and the pointy light coloured nose of the one on the video; I’d say that’s a black bear. The one in the pic looks like it has more rounded ears and a shoulder hump, which would make it a Grizzly- unless they’re both the same bear, in which case I’m full of crap – I’m a botanist damn it, not a zoologist!

  9. !o! says:

    Definitely a grizzly in the pic. The shape and hump is unmistakeable. Though it’s hard to tell the size without a clear point of reference. Peter above is right– there are often brownish black bears, though this guy doesn’t look much like a black bear at all. So nice to see!

  10. Michael Behiels says:

    No Ontario election this summer!

    Stay in British Columbia and enjoy all the marvelous wildlife and the mountains, lakes, forests and streams.

    You are missing the heat wave that has engulfed all of Ontario.

    McGuinty did what he had to do to keep his government afloat. The NDP “cowards” abstained from voting on the budget, one that will help all Ontarians through the great recession, a recession which it seems will only get worse over the next few months.

  11. JamesHalifax says:

    Warren, if you get the chance, you should skip over to the island and check out Tofino. Beautiful place.

    I lived there for a few years…..incredible scenery, wildlife, and huge trees. I bet the kiddies would love it.

  12. MCBellecourt says:

    Definitely a grizz, WK. We have lots of black bears around here (they like the “shopping” in my Central BC town and show up in peoples’ back yards on a regular basis), and our blacks are “rounder” overall, whereas the big fella you got in the pick is more longish, and with that shoulder hump.

    The others are right about colour…blackies can actually range from jet black to shades of brown.

  13. Merrill Smith says:

    Next time you want to know what kind of bear it is, try this: sneak up behind it and give it a swift kick in the arse, then run and climb a tree. If the bear climbs the tree and eats you, it’s a black. If it knocks the tree down and eats you, it’s a grizzly.

  14. Raymond says:

    Hey, we just took a bear awareness course. The still’s a grizzly; the video’s a black. A brief essay: Aside from the prominent hump and smaller ears, the grizzly has ‘grizzled’ fur around the neck. The black bear has a more ‘slouched’ appearance when on all fours (like a polar bear – ass up). The grizzly has a ‘dished’ face; the black bear a more ‘roman’ face/snout. Grizzlies prefer open areas; black bear prefer a wooded locale, often near a source of water. Grizzly claws are much longer (up to 4″) and their toe prints are close together; black bear toes are spread further apart. Black bear are excellent tree climbers; grizzlies not so, but as a previous poster noted, they will try to shake you out of the tree or push the tree over. If you elect to climb a tree to escape a grizzly (2nd last resort), make sure you climb at least 12′ up…they have surprisingly good reach. Also, charging grizzlies can run at speeds up to 35mph…as fast as a horse…faster than Usain Bolt, so escaping on foot is essentially futile.

    And as you’ve likely heard, black bear scat is full of berries and seeds…grizzly scat has little metal bells in it and smells like pepper spray.

    Enjoy the rest of your visit out west.

    • Raymond says:

      …and to make lotsa’ noise if you are in the wild. Surprising a bear is about the worst thing you can do, especially if you inadvertently approch them from downwind (if approaching from upwind, they will often smell you long before they see you). Slowly back away from the grizzly, avoiding eye contact. If you have the presence of mind to do so, keep talking in a normal voice. And for goodness’ sake DON’T RUN..they’ll almost certainly identify you as fleeing prey & take after you. If you have a back pack, drop it…they’re naturally curious & may be more interested in the pack than the scrawny morsel on two legs that left it behind.

      Disclaimer: The writer in no way gaurantees the above information will save you from a bear attack. If you’re in the wild, you’re entirely at the mercy of mother nature. Any possiblity of avoidance/escape, expressed or otherwise, is entirely dependent on the bear’s appetite at the time of encounter.

  15. Philippe says:

    The video shows a black bear while you picture shows a Grizz. Is this some kind of spin?

  16. JamesHalifax says:

    If you need to climb a tree to get away from a bear, the secret is to find a tree with a lot of small branches coming out. Bears tend to climb by wrapping their limbs around the trunk and shimmying up. If there are a lot of branches, they have a hard time of it.
    Best trees are the fir or spruce, or any coniferous tree with many small branches down low.

  17. Jon Powers says:

    That’s obviously a sasquatch. You lucky bastard. That image is worth millions.

  18. JamesHalifax says:

    Warren, some advice. A Grizzly bear can go from 0 to 35kmh in about 5 seconds..so make sure you have an escape route or place to hide if you take a pic of the wrong bear.

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