Bears are one of the largest animals in the world, and they weigh a lot more than humans. In this blog post, we will discuss topics such as how much does a bear weigh, as well as all the factors that might influence how heavy they grow to be. We will also take a look at the short overview of different bear types and their body weight.

How Much Does a Bear Weigh

Bears are massive creatures, but that doesn’t stop them from running at an exceptional speed. They have robust figures with exceptionally sharp claws and jaws, hence the reputation of ferocious predators that can pose a danger to humans.

But what about the weight? How much does the average bear weigh?

Although many factors contribute to a bear’s weight, most of these animals have an average body mass that ranges between 200 and 500 pounds. That number can change when the animal is either pregnant or hibernating.

However, many bear species are much smaller than the average, while some exceed that limit to a large degree. For instance, the sun bear rarely weighs more than 100 pounds, while the average male polar bear can grow to a startling 1,100 pounds.

​What Determines a Bear’s Weight

Although we can determine a bear’s average body weight, that number can still fluctuate, and there are many factors surrounding how heavy an animal is at a given moment—let’s break them down.


As we’ve already mentioned, every species of bear has a different body mass and physique, so naturally, this is the most significant determining factor of how much a bear will weigh.

Smaller breeds—that don’t need to be exceptionally huge to survive—usually weigh under 300 pounds. In contrast, omnivore bear species that need to hunt or need that additional skin and fur to survive in the cool climate will be bulkier.


It surely is no surprise that aging predominantly affects an animal’s body weight. Cubs start off relatively small, usually around a pound, and gradually raise more body mass until they reach their full-grown potential.

When they are still young, before reaching maturity, bears weigh under 100 pounds. Their size substantially increases in most cases, but some species don’t grow much.

Bears won’t hunt as much as they age, which can lead to a certain weight loss, but nothing would drastically change.

Time of Year

How much do bears weigh when hibernating? 

Hibernation influences a bear’s size throughout the year. During winter, bears completely shut down. They don’t need to eat or drink and rarely urinate or defecate.

To endure that state of hibernation, bears have to cram down as much food as possible during summer, especially carbohydrate-rich berries. This results in a significant weight gain during this season, which can increase by 30 pounds in just one week.

A similar thing happens when a female bear gets pregnant. Right after the mating season, these animals can put on 100 pounds. Polar bears, specifically, can even double up their size while carrying a cub.

How Heavy Is The Largest Bear Ever Known

After learning about all the different factors that influence bears’ weight, let’s see how big the heaviest recorded bears in history were and which species they belong to.

​Heaviest Polar Bear

The polar bear is already known to be the largest bear breed, so it’s not surprising that the heaviest recorded bear in history is a 2,209-pound male polar bear that was hunted in 1960 in  Alaska.

Astonishingly, this creature managed to double the already enormous 1,100-pound average bear weight that these species are known for.

​Heaviest Kodiak Bear

A close runner-up, ​a captive Dakota Zoo Kodiak bear, had a body weight of 2,130 pounds with a nine-inch thick fat layer at the time of his death in 1987. It’s speculated that a year prior to that, the predator weighed 2,400 pounds. However, there was no way to prove this definitely.

​Heaviest ​Grizzly Bear

The largest recorded brown bear had a body mass of over 1,200 pounds and was discovered by a taxidermist in 1976. In 2014, there was another great discovery of a grizzly skull, which measured 27 and 6/16th inches in length.

​Heaviest Black Bear

American black bears already have a substantial 340-pound physique, but back in 1972, a 902-pound male was discovered in New Brunswick. It’s estimated to have weighed 1,100 pounds and was 7.9 feet long.

Imagine what it would look like if a person stood next to these enormous creatures! Considering their massive physique, does it really come as a shock that a male grizzly is five times stronger than an average human being?

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a grizzly bear weigh?

Male grizzly bears usually have a body size of 600 pounds, while female grizzlies weigh 345 pounds on average.

How much does a baby bear weigh?

Baby cubs usually weigh only a pound at the time of their birth and eventually go up to 100 pounds before growing to their full potential.

Key Takeaways

How much does a bear weigh? A bear’s body mass usually ranges between 100 to 1500 pounds, but sometimes it can extend those limits depending on the species and the individual bear. Factors such as age, gender, diet, and climate all play a significant role in the size of these fascinating creatures making them even more interesting to the human eye.

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