How Strong is a Black Bear – Who Can Beat a Black Bear?

I recently saw a photo of a trash can built like a tank – Concrete foundation with a body and a lid made of thick metal, looking like a piece of war machinery.

They are installed in Bear Country wildlife park to stop black bears from destroying trash cans and spilling garbage.

That made me wonder, how strong are black bears actually.

How Strong is a Black Bear?

A black bear is very strong, a black bear can uproot full tree stumps as easily as a human would pluck the grass. They can pull several hundred pound log through the woods for very long distances. Bears are usually considered slow, bulky, not very smart, but they are quite the opposite of those things.

Bears are very strong, very fast, and very smart, they are one of the strongest land animals. Humans can’t really fight them, however, we can outsmart them if being careful enough.

How Strong Is a Male Black Bear

People always associated natural muscle strength with bear strength, saying someone has “the strength of a bear”. Bears are very underestimated by people, many of them think they are not smart, slow, bulky, but they are surprisingly none of those things.

Back in the days when leg hold traps and snares were used on bears, the traps were never chained to trees. Trapper will chain the trap to a several hundred pound log which the would bear drag for very long distances until he collapses. If the trap was chained to a tree, the bear would just rip the trap apart.

Male black bears are often seen being hit by a car, then just get up and walk away. A woman in Pennsylvania hit a black bear with her car going about 30MPH, destroying the car. As the woman got out to check the bear, he bit her in the foot and ran into the woods.

How Much Stronger Is a Black Bear Than a Human

There aren’t many records of fights between black bears and humans. Some black bears will run away when a human starts to make loud noises such as clap their hands. Black bears will go as far as making blowing noises and swatting the ground with his paws. The record shows that 23 people were killed from 1900 to 1980 by bears.

If you can find the fittest human being, and his training was optimized for strength, he will be at the same level of fitness as a black bear with average strength. It’s hard to know how much can they lift, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if a black bear shows at least double the strength of a fit human being.

How Much Can a Black Bear Lift

Bears don’t have hands like humans, so it is impossible to say how much exactly can they lift in a benchpress. They often lift stones in the wild, or trash containers when they are somewhere near the city.

Montana State University scientists observed two Grizzlies playing with a 700 pound trash container like it’s a beach ball. While Grizzlies can approximately lift 1000 lbs or 78 stones, black bears are much smaller size and genetically different.

How Strong Is a Female Black Bear

The most aggressive and the most dangerous type of bear is not a specific species, it is the mother bear. When a female black bear becomes a mother, she is very protective of her cubs. Many predators roam in the same territories as black bears, so she has to be protective at all times. Most black bears usually avoid humans but if a mother sees a human near her cubs, she’ll become very aggressive.

Female black bears are a much smaller size than males, usually about 20% to 60% smaller. Males weigh from 130 to 660 pounds while females can weigh from 90 to 175 pounds.

How Strong Is a Baby Black Bear?
How Strong Is a Baby Black Bear?

How Strong Is a Baby Black Bear

When baby black bears are born, they weigh less than a pound and can hardly crawl. After 2 to 3 months they weigh 4 to 6 pounds depending on how much their mother fed them. More advanced cubs can climb trees but can’t outrun predators such as wolfs, or other bears. At that age, their mother defends them as they still aren’t  very strong. If a cub starts to cry, its mother will come as fast as possible to carry it to a new location.

The den construction starts in fall when cubs are about 10 months old. The mother will do all construction, cubs will only bring leaves as they are not strong enough.

Next spring when cubs are about 17 months old, the mother chases them away as she is ready to mate again. At that age, cubs are strong enough to live alone, find food, and fight predators.

What Is The Strongest Type Of Bear?

The strongest two species of bears are grizzly bears and polar bears. Polar bears are large, weigh more than grizzly bears, have sharp teeth and powerful claws. Grizzly, on the other hand, is robust and more aggressive in comparison to the polar bear.

A bite force of a polar bear is 1200 psi (pounds per square inch). They can kill many animals with a single paw slap. Polar bears often slam through thick layers of ice to hunt their prey. They can swim continuously for very long distances, the record is 9 days of swimming. These deadly carnivores are one of the only ones that will actively hunt humans.

Grizzlies have the same bite force as polar bears, 1200 psi. It allows them to bring down prey and eat through tough material. They have large shoulder muscles, that allow them to dig for roots with their paws. Grizzlies, like polar bears, will also hunt humans but will back off after a certain amount of time.

Both grizzlies and polar bears are very strong, in terms of pure strength, many sources consider polar bears to be the strongest.

Which Bears Are The Most Aggressive

Primarily carnivorous bear known to hunt and eat humans is a polar bear. These deadly predators consider humans an ideal prey because they rarely encounter us. If they lived in more densely areas, they would learn that attacking humans cloud lead to a quick death.

Omnivorous grizzly bears will only attack if they feel threatened. They often come in contact with humans yet  are still relatively safe. They can become very deadly if they feel threatened or hungry. According to statistics, grizzlies kill more people per year than polar bears, but it’s because grizzlies regularly come into contact with humans.

Every predatory creature knows to watch out for humans and avoid them, but not polar bears. If they are hungry they’ll eat humans in one bite. So the most aggressive species of bear is the polar bear, but the most aggressive of all bears is the mother bear.

Is a Grizzly Bear Stronger Than a Black Bear?

Grizzly bears are bigger than black bears, and in nature, the bigger one is usually the stronger one. Grizzly bears have a stronger bite and bigger claws. While black bear weighs around 300 pounds, the average grizzly size is around 600 pounds.

Smaller size leaves black bears better suited to a number of situations, but this isn’t one of them. This fight occurs in the wild, and the grizzly always wins.

Grizzly bears are generally stronger than black bears
Grizzly bears are generally stronger than black bears

How Strong Is a Black Bear’s Bite

Bite force is measured with BFQ (Bite Force Quotient) and PSI (Pound per square inch). Bears have one of the strongest bites out of all animals. An animal with the strongest bite force is a Nile Crocodile, with the force of 5000 PSI.

Grizzly and polar bears are in the top 10, with the bite force of 1200 PSI or 78 BFQ. Black bears are very close, their bite force is 980 PSI or 64 BFQ.

Who Would Win Gorilla or Black Bear

A black bear and a gorilla have similar physical characters and fighting styles, standing on two feet. Gorilla has massive strength which can help in the fight but the black bear has teeth and claws that can weaken the gorilla. The bear will also use its strong bite to attack. Black bears are carnivores and gorillas are herbivores so gorillas don’t have what it takes to take down black bears.

The black bear should be the winner, but he is surprisingly cowardly. Humans can actually scare away black bears with their voices. Gorillas are louder, bigger, and stronger than humans, he can make a black bear afraid with his vocals and chest beating.

Related Questions

Would a black bear beat a lion? A black bear is bigger than a lion, but much slower. As a smaller animal, a lion will fight if backed into a corner. It all goes to the favor of a lion or possibly a draw.

Can a polar bear kill a lion? A polar bear is a much larger animal than a lion, much stronger, and has a heavier coat and hide. So a polar bear can easily kill a lion.

Who would win a grizzly bear or a polar bear? Many fights between a grizzly and a polar bear have occurred in the wild.

The grizzly won every time. Polar bears are more dangerous, more aggressive, more experienced in killing but grizzlies won every time. The reason is attitude. Polar bear fast for most of the year and are cautious where they spend calories. A grizzly will usually chase away a polar bear because grizzlies are more about territory.