“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity neccessity of the human spirit.”

-Edward Abbey 

Long time ago, when I was a child, I was so amazed with documentary about grizzly bears in wild Canada. That was the moment when I decided I have to go to the north, there where the wolves are howling and where the grizzly bears are wandering, searching for a salmon. It was and it is still my dream, to be close to the last sanctuary of wilderness, even if it means I will be a pilgrim the whole life long.

What do you know about grizzly bears? I don’t know much but all I know make so devoted to help them and to protect them, even I do know how dangerous they could be for any human. Nevertheless, those majestic animals are the proud symbol of Canadian breathtaking nature and alluring wildlife beauty. This land is blessed with so many great things but one of them is definitely vibrating wilderness, rich and blooming, still without touch and pressure of the growing population.  You can see all in Canada, from vast forests through the high and arrogant mountains to the crystal clear lakes and passionate oceans. The Canada is a treasure itself.

Now, imagine the mozaic of green settings boosted with different type of species that enjoy they life in the free environment, with no fear from being destroyed. The Canadians do all what they can to keep safe their ecosystem but there are still  some cracks that allow to the lunatics to hunt rare animals and to push them on the edge of existence.  That is why the conservation societies of Canada are working hard to save the role of grizzly bears in the whole environmental picture because this precious creature  ( Ursus arctos) is actually the symbol of the remaining wilderness of North America. Back in past, grizzly bears have been all over this continent but nowadays they are located in a few small islands of habitat in the lower 48 U.S. states, then in the western part of Alberta, most of British Columbia and they also have the Canadian north. According to some Canadian explorers( Jef Gailus)the grizzly bear is actually the awaken and spirited energy of the Nature and it must be cherished:“The grizzly bear, where it remains, is an indicator of healthy ecosystems and a flagship species for conservation planning. on the one hand, grizzly bears are slow-reproducing mammals that are sensitive to habitat alteration and mortality risks associated with human activities. on the other, meeting the needs of grizzly bears through responsible, science-based planning, other species — including humans — can be assured that their requirements for healthy forests, abundant food and clean water are also being addressed”


It is fascinating to note that many people feel the mixture of fear and admiration when they think or talk about grizzly bears. Those mammals are fast, large and intelligent and they can live in different habitats and can develop the different offensive or defensive behaviour. There have been bloody meetings between people and grizzly bears but in spite of all, the Canadians don’t give up on their national treasure and they put all efforts to solve this issue through the legal instance.  The presence of grizzly bears in Canadian forests is one of the strongest point of the Canadian tourism. The millions of people want to go there and to hope to see, from a distance, the king of Canadian wilderness.

At this moment, the number of those bears is not for concern because there are about 26,000 grizzly bears currently but the population in southern and southwestern  Canada is a risk of decline.  The Government of Alberta has finally passed the legislation about banning the sport hunt of grizzly bears and this is an epic victory for all animal lovers.  The both provinces, Alberta and British Columbia are creating the strategy for biodiversity which will help the maintain of grizzly bear population and their conservation, as much as it is possible.

The grizzly bear is a very specific animal that has its own pattern of life and acting in ecosystem. They need free and large place so they can meet all they biological needs but it often means crossing the road with the human population. At the end of the day, it is always a conflict between the animal and human being, due to the power and domination of one who takes it all. The grizzly bears reproduce very slowly which is a big problem, if you have the species at risk of disappearing.  The majority of those wonderful bears diet the hands of humans and very few of them face with a natural death. We talk almost about 98% of grizzly bears that are killed by humans.  This doesn’t mean always that people hunt them and kill them but they have been killed due to the aggressive and intense traffic and furious drive in the habitats where grizzly bears are on move.  The next problem is poaching that is active during the fall hunting season, when all wannabe men are trying to feel themselves like men, at least once in life, not catching the fact that they are nothing but cowards and sociopaths.  There are so many unreported cases of grizzly bear death and usually governments can’t follow all the issues but 51% of their death, caused by humans, comes from damned hunt in the shadow of Canadian wildlife friendly policy.

There are studies that also accent the influence of climate changes on the decline of grizzly bears. This is mostly seen in the cases when grizzly bears are desperately searching for fish near the shores of Canada’s Knight Inlet.  The wildlife photographer reported that he hasn’t seen any salmon in the river on the spot where the whole world is coming to observe the grizzly bear family is preparing for hibernation.  You can cry when you see starving grizzly bears that are searching for fish that is  gone. The mom and two cubs, without salmon and hope they will make it through the hard winter. It is devastating because it shows the deep impact of global warming and climate changes, that some governments simply don’t recognise or don’t give any attention. Even the fishermen have warned that this year is definitely the worst salmon season in last 50 years and that is a terrible thing, if we consider the coming hibernation off grizzly bears. What if they never wake up again?


They are one of a kind, the powerful animals with mystical spirit and right to have their own place and freedom. Seeing grizzly bears means seeing the wildlife at its best, the Canadian moment of eternity and the luxury of pure nature that belongs only to those who can understand the silence.





  1. What an Amazing article, Sarah !

    The Grizzlies are some of my favorite Animals as well ! Not only are they stately, but they are also very fast and agile !

    I was very happy when I read that, over a year ago, British Columbia prohibited the hunting of the Grizzlies ! In fact, I was so thrilled that I posted about it to share the good news with our family of Animal Lovers and Advocates ! I’m even happier to know that Alberta has also banned the hunting of the Grizzlies ! All countries should follow suit !

    Thank you so much, Sarah, for your Animal advocacy and activism ! You are one of a kind ! God bless you ! And of course, thank you for all your beautiful articles !


  2. Sarah’s delightfully-written article induces the reader to wish to visit areas of North America where the grizzly bear is protected, etc.

    The term ‘grizzly bear’ derives from two North American explorers, Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) and William Clark (1770-1838): they described the brown bear as ‘grisley’ (i.e. fear-inspiring). Though, not until 1815 did the modern spelling emerge (i.e. grizzly), via the writings of North American naturalist George Ord (1781-1866).

    The grizzly bear itself is not indigenous to North America: it originated in Eurasia around 60,000 years ago, and first appeared in North America about 13,000 years ago.

    Scientists recorded that there were 86 distinct species of the brown bear, during the 19th century. Yet, due to unregulated and excessive hunting/killing of them by humans, they had become almost extinct by the early-20th century. Gradually, laws were introduced to protect them.

    Grizzly bears have specific relationships with their respective ecosystems (e.g. fleshy-fruit bearing plants – after the bear consumes the fruit, the seeds are excreted and dispersed in a germinable condition).

    While foraging for tree roots, plant bulbs, or ground squirrels, bears stir up the soil: this increases species richness in alpine ecosystems. An area that contains both bear digs and undisturbed land has greater plant diversity than an area that contains just undisturbed land.

    Along with increasing species richness, soil disturbance causes nitrogen to be dug up from lower soil layers, and makes nitrogen more readily available in the environment. An area that has been dug by the grizzly bear has significantly more nitrogen than an undisturbed area. Certain coniferous species benefit from the bears hunting salmon, as well (i.e. the salmon release nitrogen as food).

    Deliberately and directly, the bears regulate prey populations and help prevent overgrazing in forests by controlling the populations of other species in the food chain. An experiment in The Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, USA, revealed that removal of wolves and grizzly bears caused populations of their herbivorous prey to increase.

    In turn, this changed the structure and density of plants in the area, which decreased the population sizes of migratory birds. This provides evidence that grizzly bears have a major influence on the entire ecosystem they inhabit.

    In addition, when grizzly bears fish for salmon along the coasts of north-west North America, they only eat the skin, brain and roe of the fish. In doing so, they provide a food source for gulls, ravens and foxes.

    The grizzly bear is an iconic creature of North America and needs protection…


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About Sarahowlgirl1982

I am a master of Political Sciences, with special focus on Security Studies, Islamic Counter Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I enjoy discovering and commenting things which are " in the air" but still not spoken.I also do like science writing and planing to move myself into the pure science journalism !