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The brown bear is loved for his charismatic appearance. We respect and fear the bear for his strength, size, running speed and intelligence. Get to know this spectacular animal and how we should protect it.


There are 17,000 brown bears in Europe’s forests. They are protected by the EU Habitats Directive. Watch the bear in his home and help us keep it safe in our forests.

© Wild Wonders of Europe /Staffan Widstrand / WWF

My common name: Brown bear

My latin name: Ursus arctos

Population: 17,000 in Europe (200,000 worldwide)

My address: I live mostly in the mountain forests

My favourite food: I am omnivore. My diet varies with the season: grass and shoots in the spring; berries and apples in the summer; nuts and plums in the fall and all year round I like roots, insects, and mammals. Of course, I love honey too!

My way of life: As males we are solitary animals and socialise only during the mating season. Females, once mothers, take very good care of the cubs until the little ones can live on their own. 

Life span:I can live up to 30 years in the wild and longer in captivity.

Eurasian brown bears, Suomussalmi, Finland

What do we know about brown bears? Why do they matter?  What are the main threats?

Find out more about the kings of Europe's forests.

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Brown bear (Ursus arctos)

Throughout history, bears have inspired people. Where does this fascination come from?

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Brown bear swimming

Bears are admired for their strength and intelligence. Did you know that plants and herbs make up to 80% of their food? Learn more about this curious animal!

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What WWF is doing to protect the bear