Lewis and Clark Expedition for
kids: Facts about the Grizzly Bear
The grizzly bear is a powerful brownish-yellow bear that inhabits the
uplands of western North America.
The animals brown
fur has white or gray hair tips on the back which gives the animal a
grizzled appearance, which is why the Grizzly Bear was given this name.
The Grizzly bear
can be distinguished from the brown bear due to its long claws,
concave-shaped face and high-humped shoulders.
The male Grizzly
bear is larger than the female weighing 230 - 450 kg (500 - 1000
lb). Female grizzlies weigh 150 - 350 kilograms (330 - 770 pounds).
The Grizzly Bear
is an omnivore, which means it eats both vegetables and meat. 90% of its
diet is vegetarian.
animal can run at 30 miles (48 kilometers) an hour
The claws of the
front feet can reach nearly 4 in (10 cm) long
The height of the
Grizzly Bear is about 5.9 - 7 ft (180–213 cm) when standing on its
A Close Encounter for Meriwether Lewis
The journals of Lewis and Clark, and those written by members of the Corps
of Discovery, record at least forty terrifying encounters with the ferocious
Grizzly Bear on the Lewis and Clark expedition. In one of many meetings with
grizzly bears, Meriwether Lewis escaped by running into a river. He had
forgotten to reload his rifle and had only his spontoon, a lance or pike-like
device, to defend himself.
A Close Encounter for William Clark
On Sunday, May 5, 1805 William Clark recorded his close encounter with a
Grizzly Bear. He was with another member of the expition called George
Drewyer when they were confronted by the massive Grizzly. They managed to
kill the terrible bear but with great difficulty. The men shot ten balls
into him before he died. Clark recorded that the animal was the largest of
the carnivorous kind he had ever seen and believed his weight was at
least 500 pounds.