How Strong Is a Bear? (Grizzly, Black, Polar)

A bear is a very strong animal. Their strength is affected by numerous factors like size, weight, and biting force. An average bear like a grizzly bear is between 2.5 and 5 times as strong as a human, and has a biting force of almost 1000 PSI.

A grizzly bear equals 2.5 to 5 humans in strength. Bears are strongest when they are protecting their cubs from predators.

Their immense biting force that can snap a neck and their huge paws that can crack a spine add tremendously to its power.

How Strong Is a Bear

This article explores the strength of several bear species.

Bear Bite Strengths Comparison

Bear SpeciesBite Strength
Grizzly Bear975PSI
Brown Bear975PSI
Polar Bear1200PSI
Panda Bear292PSI

How Strong Is a Grizzly Bear?

A grizzly bear (subspecies of brown bears) is a very strong mammal with a biting force of 975 PSI, enough to smash a bowling bowl or crash a human skull within seconds.

When compared to humans, grizzly bears are up to five times stronger, even the small cubs that weigh around 100 pounds have more strength than the strongest human athlete! With big and strong muscles, a grizzly can lift around 1000 pounds.

Grizzly bears’ forelegs are said to be the strongest among predators. Their paws are thick and wide and the claws are so strong and they use them to dig burrows effortlessly and attack prey easily.

Interestingly, an adult grizzly bear can effortlessly lift rocks of around 500 pounds with a single paw. The females aren’t much behind because an adult female grizzly can lift a 350-pound rock when it’s searching for food. 

In one experiment, food was placed inside a 700-pound dumpster that was closed and kept near a grizzly bear location. The bear was attracted by the smell of the food and rolled the dumpster over easily.

How Strong Is a Brown Bear?

Adult brown bears are very strong predators that eat fruits, leaves, nuts, and roots. With a bite force of 975 PSI (between that of a lion and a tiger), this bear is undoubtedly a mighty mammal. 

Its strength is estimated to be 2.5 to 5 times that of humans. 

Read More: Do Humans Hunt Bears for Meat?

Although all grizzlies are brown bears, not all brown bears are grizzlies. Generally speaking, an adult male brown bear has a weight between 400 to 1200 pounds while the females’ weight range is between 300 and 800 pounds.

Read More: Black Bear vs Grizzly Bear

The brown bear lives in the mountains and forests in the north of North America, Asia, and Europe. The biggest brown bears live near the coast in British Columbia and Alaska and on Kodiak Island.

Their paws are big and curved and enable them to kill prey efficiently and they’re the only living species of bears with a hump on their shoulders. This hump is made of muscle and it’s believed to enhance this bear’s strength in digging when they forage or construct dens for hibernation. 

How Strong Is a Polar Bear?

Polar bears are stronger, bigger, and faster than most other bears. An adult polar bear can weigh up to 1300 pounds and this bear is said to be ten times stronger than humans. Polar bears have a bite strength of around 1200PSI.

Since they’re so strong, lifting more than 1000 pounds of icebergs is no problem, and their jaws are strong enough to crush bones. Nature has gifted them with some exceptional abilities like a powerful smell, excellent swimming skills, and a repellent, thick fur that insulates them and protects them from the cold.

These amazing mammals are skilled predators equipped with five-toed feet and large paws that can grow up to 12 inches in diameter. 

They use their paws to balance their bodies, especially when looking for seals on ice, and for swimming too. They’re perfect as paddles in water and snowshoes on land. 

Since they live in the coldest part of the world, it’s no wonder polar bears are so strong with massive paws and legs. Polar bears have a keen sense of smell, they can smell food up to a mile away and can smell seal carcasses buried under three feet of ice!

Read More: Do Polar Bears Eat Humans?

How Strong Is a Panda Bear?

A panda bear may look cute and cuddly, but they’re as strong and as dangerous as any other bear. They have a lot of muscle and strong and large teeth, jaws, and claws, as well as a heavy and thick skull. Pandas can weigh up to 275lbs and have a bite strength of 292PSI.

Although pandas don’t have as strong a bite as some other species, they have seriously powerful hind legs, which they can use to haul their massive bodies up trees!

Their teeth and jaw easily crushes sturdy bamboo stalks and if a panda bear needs to, it can seriously harm other animals or humans. 

Generally speaking, a panda can grow between 47 to 74 inches in length (from nose to tail) which is actually bigger than a black bear whose length is around 55 inches. 

Adult male pandas weigh between 190 and 275 pounds and the females weigh up to 265lbs.

Although a panda bear may seem lazy, they shouldn’t be underestimated! In fact, they can be pretty fast, if necessary, with a speed of 20 mph. As comparison, a human’s speed is 23 mph. 

Read More: Can You Outrun a Bear?

What’s more, a panda bear has a strong sense of smell and hearing which helps it navigate the world and stay safe from predators in the wild. 


Without doubt, bears are some of the greatest beasts in the world that have long been respected, but also feared. Their muscular bodies, excellent sense of smell and speed, and extreme biting force makes them some of the strongest animals on the planet.

Bears are mighty predators: they have impressive features like thick fur which keeps them warm and protected, big and strong paws that can crack a neck or a skull effortlessly, and extraordinary swimming and running skills.

Of all the bear species, polar bears and grizzlies are considered to be the strongest because of their massive weight and biting force, although other species like the panda bear mustn’t be underestimated. 

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