Grizzly Bear


The Grizzly Bear is a North American subspecies of the Brown Bear.

These bears are powerful top-of-the-food-chain predators, yet much of their diet consists of nuts, berries, fruit, leaves, and roots. Bears also eat other animals, from rodents to moose.

Despite their impressive size, grizzlies are quite fast and have been clocked at 30 miles (48 kilometers) an hour. They can be dangerous to humans, particularly if surprised or if humans come between a mother and her cubs.

Brown bears dig dens for winter hibernation, often holing up in a suitable-looking hillside. Females give birth during this winter rest and their offspring are often twins.

Click HERE for a Grizzly Bear Activity Sheet!

Our Current Residents

Ozzy – Male, Born 2006 (estimate)

Ozzy was a bit of a troublesome bear before he came to ZooMontana. He lived within Yellowstone National Park and learned, as many bears do, that he could easily get food from humans. Campers who didn't "bear proof" their campsites made it easy for Ozzy to come in and ransack their camp, finding lots of goodies. This caused a big problem because Ozzy learned to raid campsites again and again instead of hunting for food on his own. Because bears and people at campsites can be extremely dangerous together, officials decided that this interaction needed to stop. Instead of being put down, which unfortunately happens to many bears in this situation, It was decided that Ozzy deserved a second chance. He was caught and brought to ZooMontana. Ozzy didn't initially take well living in a zoo and was nervous, pacing back and forth along the fence line. He didn't like it when his keepers were close by, even though they were bringing him food and care. It was decided to introduce Ozzy to Bruno, an elder bear that has since passed, to see if it would help him to be calmer. Zoo staff was cautious to make sure they would get along the first time they entered the habitat together. Amazingly, they hit it off and became fast friends. They would romp, play and wrestle with each other daily. Since Bruno was a strong and confident bear, it helped build confidence in Ozzy. He is much calmer and happier and actually enjoys people being close to him now. Bruno has proven to be a terrific role model! Now that Bruno is gone, we look forward to Ozzy being a "mentor" to George and Willie, the Zoo's newest bears. 

Willie and George - Males, Born 2023

George and Willie came to the Zoo in the Fall of 2023 from Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks. They were orphaned in the wild after their mother broke into one too many cabins. Because their mother had many human conflicts, she was unfortunately put down for public safety. Due to their age, and the fact that both bears had human interactions, release was not possible. ZooMontana is honored to be their furever home, and look forward to watching them grow and interacting with Ozzy.  


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Ursidae
  • Genus: Ursus
  • Species: arctos horribilis

Animal Facts

  • Omnivore
  • Threatened
  • Plains
  • Diurnal

Our Animals