The Kodiak bear can be found roaming in the islands of the Kodiak Archipelago located in South Central Alaska. Also known as the Alaskan Brown Bear, they are the largest of the brown bears. These bears have been isolated from others and there are approximately 3,000 Kodiak bears in existence. Kodiak’s develop their own language and ways to communicate with each other and can be found together in large groups, usually around their main feeding grounds.
The Appearance of the Kodiak Bear
The Kodiak bear’s fur is very fluffy and tends to be brown in color; however, the females are mostly blond. The Kodiak cubs have a white ring around their necks for the first few years, as the cubs grow that ring will eventually disappear. In addition to their fur, Kodiak’s have large, sharp claws and teeth which make it easy for them to catch salmon to feed on.
Although it has been said that very few Kodiak bears have been weighed, it is estimated that the females range between 500-700 pounds. An adult male is estimated at 800-1,400 pounds and stands at least 5 feet tall when on all four legs.
The Kodiak Bear’s Diet
The main food for the Kodiak is fish. A salmon is great nutrition for the bear and allows the bear to stay healthy. They also feed on berries, grass and plants. If the Kodiak is in captivity such as a zoo, they are fed fish, carrots, apples, etc.
Life Expectancy of a Kodiak Bear
The Kodiak bear can live anywhere from 20-25 years in the wild. However, if in captivity they have been known to live up to 30 years.
Reproduction of the Kodiak Bears
Mating between the males and females usually begin after hibernation when they have exited their den after a cold winter.The eggs do not fertilize until autumn, and it is in January of February that the cubs are born. A normal litter size for the Kodiak is only 2 or 3 cubs.
Kodiak Bear Safety
If you plan to go bear watching, there are a few tips you will want to follow to ensure the safety of you and the animal.
It is natural for the bear to hunt food. Do not feed the bears! This is very dangerous and can be life threatening to you or anyone else around you.
Do not get close to the bears. This stresses them out and causes them to react. If you want to photograph the bear, be sure to keep your distance and always use a zoom lens.
If camping, be sure to clean up all food. Do not leave any type of food lying around. It is best to cook any food away from your tent. The bears can smell the food and will begin to hunt for it.
If you encounter a bear, do not panic. Stand completely still. Runny or screaming will only irritate the bear and possibly cause him to attack. These bears only want to protect their food and cubs, standing still will let the bear know you are not a threat.
Kodiak bears and humans have coexisted for many years. It is possible to go site seeing for bears and remain safe. These wild animals can be extremely dangerous, so please respect their space.