Brown Bear Kills More Than Expected

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Jens Karlsson a researcher out of Sweden found that one brown bear killed 33 reindeer calves in a three week period. Brown bears are known for eating berries and fish, but they are also carnivores and ate most of the young deer. Karlsson used tracking devices on 11 bears and 500 reindeer for the study by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Karlsson said the large number of kills was surprising, from The Canadian Press.

The female bear killed twice as many reindeer calves as the next brown bear on the list. The bears also killed some adult reindeer, two moose, a rabbit and a pike.


ndemiter's picture

brown bears are awesome

brown bears are awesome animals. i saw a female grizzly take down a fully grown bull caribou once. the only reason the caribou didn't get away is because he turned to fight when he could have easily eascaped on the hoof. caribou are fast travelers across the arctic reaches, whereas the grizzly might only reach 20 mph tops over bad terrain. the caribou should be able to do twice that.

i have seen many instances where bears were following cow moose with young calves. one of the places we'd glass for bears in alaska were the places we saw all the cow/calf pairs moving through.

it's good to remember sometimes that the grizzly, or brown bear is an awesome predator, and shouldn't be underestimated as a threat to humans as well. even though they're a little reclusive, reports of brown bears along the platte river during the period of western settlement often read like horror stories that almost always ended up in maulings. these bears were reputed to attack on sight.

i'm impressed that the bear in the story wasn't a male, but if you think about it, a female would have a higher demand for protien if she were pregnant and would need increased energy for winter in order to give birth, nurse, etc.

what a cool article!

hunter25's picture

Wow. This one is really

Wow. This one is really interesting to me. I already knew of course that bears were omniverous but always had assumed that they killed very few animals prefering to eat berries, fish or things that were already dead. This study was conducted in Sweded but I would assume that the results would be fairly similar in other areas like Alaska for instance. Very interesting as it appears that the wolves are not the only ones having a negative impact on some of the big game herds. A very active bear with a taste for fresh meat could reduce a caibou herd or in this case reindeer herd very quickly.