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Bear vs. Moose (Strength in a Fight?)

Even though moose and some bears may have somewhat similar weight and size, bears are more dominant creatures because they’re carnivorous and some bears even prey on moose.

In general, both animals are reclusive and avoid human contact, but are capable of harming humans. If they fought one another, a bear would likely be the winner.

Bear vs Moose

This article will explore the main differences between bears and moose in an effort to determine if bears are really stronger.

Grizzly Bear vs. Moose

Grizzly bears regularly kill and eat moose, although it may be possible for a large moose to kill a smaller brown bear with its horns if all went in its favor.

According to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, grizzly bears are effective predators of moose calves from birth to around 2 months of age.

1. Grizzly Bear vs Moose Size

Grizzlies are among the largest carnivores with an impressive length of 3.3 to 9 feet and a weight of up to 800 lbs. Their height can range between 2.6 to 8 inches, according to Live Science.

Moose are the largest of the deer family with an adult male moose growing an average of 6 feet in height and reaching a weight of 1,400 pounds. The males have huge antlers that can spread 6 feet from one end to the other.

2. Grizzly Bear vs Moose Color

Grizzlies’ color can range from almost white to a very dark brown. Interestingly, the hairs’ frosted tips make them appear grizzled, which is how they’ve gotten their name.

Moose can also have different body colors, from golden brown to black. This is conditioned by their age and the season.

Namely, calves have a red-brown coat that transforms into light rust. When late summer arrives, they’ve already grown a texture similar to that of the adults.

3. Grizzly Bear vs Moose Strength

Grizzly bears are very strong-they can actually lift more than 1000 pounds or 0.8 times their weight! They kill prey by strong bites in the back or neck or attacks with their forepaw (they can actually break a spine with it!).

Read More: How Strong are Grizzly Bears? (Grizzly vs Polar vs Panda vs Brown Bear)

They’re also very fast and humans can’t outrun them.

Unlike bears, moose don’t bite, but rather kick strongly. This is their primary defense. According to wildlife biologist John Crouse, moose are very agile and can kick 360 degrees!

4. Grizzly Bear vs Moose Habitat

Grizzlies live in forests, alpine meadows, prairies, and woodlands. They also live close to streams and rivers.

Moose also live near streams, swamps, and ponds, but prefer forests with snow in winter.

This video taken in Sweden shows how a grizzly bear hunts moose:

Grizzly Bear vs Moose Comparison Table

StatisticGrizzly BearMoose
Strength975 PSICan Kick 360 Degrees
Size3.3 to 9 ft4.6 to 6.9 ft
DietOmnivoreHerbivore
Habitat Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, southern Colorado, and western Canada Northern regions of the US (from Maine to Washington, throughout Canada, and in Alaska)
Population 55,000 in North American, 30,000 of which live in Alaska. Only 1500 grizzly bears are left in the lower 48 states Globally, around 1.5 million and increasing.
Conservation Status Least concern (population stable) Least concern (population increasing)

Polar Bear vs. Moose

Considering a polar bear is one of the strongest and largest carnivores in the world, a moose would probably lose in the fight by succumbing to the wounds.

An adult male with big horns may have a chance if it manages to inflict a mortal wound on the polar bear fast enough.

1. Polar Bear vs Moose Size

Polar bears are massive with adults weighing from 700 to more than 1300 pounds. The females are smaller, but can still weigh up to 650 pounds.

Moose are also huge and the adult males can weigh like the male polar bears- up to 1400 pounds! They have a heavy and sturdy body with a hump on the shoulders and bony antlers.

2. Polar Bear vs Moose Color

In terms of color, polar bears differ from moose a lot.

They have pigment-free and transparent hairs that reflect visible light, much like the case with snow and ice, making them appear white. Before molting, the oils in the fur from seals may make them look yellowish.

On the other hand, moose’s color ranges from golden brown to black.

3. Polar Bear vs Moose Strength

According to Green Peace, polar bears have a stronger bite force than the African Lion, the Bengal Tiger, and the White Shark (1,235 PSI). In comparison, a human bite has an average strength of 162 PSI.

On the other hand, a moose may not bite kill, but they may kick kill using their hind legs if threatened or attacked. They kick fast and hard and also stomp and rear up.

4. Polar Bear vs Moose Habitat

Polar bears are dependent on the sea ice above open waters because this is where their main prey seal lives. They live in Greenland, Alaska, Canada, Russia, and some Northern Norwegian islands like Svalbard.

Read More: How Do Polar Bears Stay Warm?

Similar to polar bears, moose also prefer cold climates. They live in the northern areas of the US, from Maine to Washington, Canada, and Alaska, mostly near ponds and streams. Their insulating fur and large size are pivotal for survival during harsh winters.

Polar Bear vs Moose Comparison Table

StatisticPolar BearMoose
Strength1235 PSICan Kick 360 Degrees
Size 5.9 to 9.8 ft 4.6 to 6.9 ft
DietCarnivoreHerbivore
HabitatAlaska, Canada, Greenland, Russia, and Norway Northern regions of the US (from Maine to Washington, throughout Canada, and in Alaska)
Population 22,000-31,000 Globally, around 1.5 million and increasing.
Conservation Status Vulnerable (population decreasing) Least concern (population increasing)

Black Bear vs. Moose

If the moose is very young, black bears can kill them. According to estimates by Ontario Biologists, more than 25,000 moose calves are killed and eaten by black bears every spring.

1. Black Bear vs Moose Size

An adult black bear has a weight range of 130 to 660 pounds whereas their length is usually from 50 to 75 inches. The females weigh less, around 90 to 175 pounds.

They’re similar in size to the moose- which is the largest member of the deer family- but the moose is somewhat bigger and taller. An adult male can grow up to 800 pounds in weight and up to 7 ft in height!

2. Black Bear vs Moose Color

According to Bear Wise, black bears come in more colors than any other mammal in North America. Most of them have a deep black color whereas a quarter of them has a white chest. The further west, the likelier it is to see them in cinnamon, brown, or even blonde color.

Similar to black bears, moose are also influenced by factors that determine their color, like age and season. Generally speaking, their fur color ranges from a golden brown to black.

3. Black Bear vs Moose Strength

Black bears may not have a bite that’s as strong as that of the grizzlies and polar bears, but it’s still very strong (980 PSI).

Their muscular body and big paws make them efficient predators. They make bites on the arms or legs from behind and then inflict a snap to the head which is usually deadly.

4. Black Bear vs Moose Habitat

Black bears have a versatile diet making them suitable for different habitats. Mostly though, they live in deciduous and coniferous forests, as well as open alpine areas. Black Bears often sleep in trees.

In the Great Plains or other wide-open areas, they only inhabit the parts along the river where there are trees and fringing vegetation.

Moose also like the forest, the boreal being their favorite. Interestingly, they’re excellent swimmers and can dive several meters to eat the plants at the bottom of a lake. They also swim to get away from bugs and cool off in the summertime.

In this video, a moose is seen roaming around in its natural habitat:

Black Bear vs Moose Comparison Table:

StatisticPolar BearMoose
Strength980 PSICan Kick 360 Degrees
Size Up to 6 ft4.6 to 6.9 ft
DietOmnivoreHerbivore
HabitatAlaska, Canada, contiguous US, and northern Mexico Northern regions of the US (from Maine to Washington, throughout Canada, and in Alaska)
PopulationAround 600,000 in North America Globally, around 1.5 million and increasing.
Conservation StatusLeast concern (population increasing) Least concern (population increasing)

Conclusion

Although moose are strong, muscular, and massive, they’re a common prey of bears, particularly their calves. Bears attack them from behind and pick off the weakest moose in the pack.

Still, this doesn’t mean that a moose has zero chance of surviving a bear encounter. In fact, if the bear is smaller and the moose is an adult male, its strong 360-degree kicking and bony antlers may come to the rescue.

Despite some major differences between most bear species and moose like their diet, habitat, etc. they seem to have some interesting similarities: both are good swimmers and have similar size and weight!