Copyright by J. Eastcott and Y. Momatiuk. Reprinted with permission.
The adult grizzly bear has an average height of three to five feet when it is on all fours and six to 10 feet when standing. An adult grizzly may weigh from 600 pounds (Potts, 1997, p.4) to 800 pounds (“Grizzly Bear,” 2011), and even 1,400 pounds. When it comes to the physical description of the grizzly, it has flat feet and a muscular shoulder hump that powers the forelimbs for digging. Its head is round “with a concave facial profile” (“Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis)”, 2011). According to the National Geographic, grizzly bears are “top-of-the-food-chain predators”. Although they eat animals, surprisingly, grizzly bears are fond of fruits, berries, leaves and roots (“Grizzly Bear,” 2011). Potts (1997) reported that there are 40,000 to 50,000 grizzly bears living in the mountains and forests of Canada and Alaska. In the United States, particularly in the states of Montana, Washington, Wyoming and Idaho, the number of grizzlies is from 600 to 800 (p.5).
In Wyoming, grizzly bears are recognized as threatened. Whitaker & Hamilton (1998) define threatened as the likelihood that a species become endangered in the future whereas an endangered species is in the danger of extinction throughout a part of its range (p.549). Due to burgeoning population, people occupy the territories of grizzly bears, driving them away from their home. When this happens, the food supply of these bears becomes limited; thus, grizzly bears go after the farm animals of the settlers. In turn, these settlers hunted the bears until they were almost extinct (Potts, 1997, p.13).
Primarily, it was the dwindling number of existing grizzly bears that prompted their being threatened. In an article, it says that human activities that occur in the habitat of grizzlies also deprive these animals of territory and food supply. These activities include timber cutting, grazing, private land development