Fat Bears at the Museum - Fat Bear Week

Chunky Bears at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Bears are no strangers to Colorado and its ecosystems. They are iconic creatures that have captivated human imagination for generations, so much so that the Katmai National Park and Preserve are honoring bears during its annual Fat Bear Week. The Denver Musuem of Nature & Science is home to some of these fat, adorable bears. With help from Curator of Zoology, Garth Spellman, here’s a look at which bears you can find inside the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. 

Related: Spooky Animals at the Museum

1. Grizzly Bears: 

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Diorama depicting Colorado grizzly bears in Archuleta County, Colorado United States. (Photo/Rick Wicker)

Grizzly bears, scientifically known as Ursus arctos, are formidable creatures found primarily in North America. They are known for their impressive size and strength, standing up to 7 feet tall and weighing between 400-800 pounds. Being omnivores, Grizzlies are known to eat berries, nuts, insects and occasionally elk or moose. These bears used to be found here in Colorado, but have not been seen since 1951. 

Related: Colorado's Last Grizzly Bear

2. Polar Bears: 

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Diorama depicts female polar bear with cubs and ribbon seal on ice pack near Wainwright, Alaska, United States. (Photo/Rick Wicker) 

Polar bears, or Ursus maritimus, are a species uniquely adapted to the Arctic environment. They are the largest land predators on Earth, weighing up to 1,500 pounds and reaching heights up to 10 feet. These bears are superb swimmers and have an incredible sense of smell, allowing them to detect seals from miles away, even beneath layers of ice.  

3. Alaskan Brown Bears: 

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Diorama depicting an Alaskan Brown Bear standing on its hind legs. (Photo/Rick Wicker) 

Alaskan brown bears are a subpopulation of grizzly bears and are found in the coastal regions of Alaska. These bears like to congregate near rivers and streams where they are able to catch large numbers of fish to fatten up for winter hibernation. Weighing up to 1,200 pounds, these bears like to indulge in fish, berries, grasses and even caribou. 

4. Kermode Bears (Spirit Bears): 

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Diorama depicting two Kermodes bears near the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia, Canada. (Photo/Rick Wicker) 

Kermode bears, also known as spirit bears or ghost bears, are a rare subspecies of the North American black bear. They are unique due to their white-colored fur, resulting from a recessive gene. They are found inside the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia, Canada and have a spiritual significance to the indigenous people of the region. Spirit bears are considered a symbol of peace and harmony. 

5. Black Bears: 

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Diaroma of a Black Bear Family alongside a mountain range. (Photo/Rick Wicker) 

Black bears (Ursus americanus) are the most common bear species in North America. Despite their name, their color can range from black, brown, cinnamon and even blonde. They are highly adaptable and are known to be fantastic climbers and swimmers. They have a diverse diet consisting of berries, fruits, insects, small mammals and even carrion. 

Bears are magnificent creatures, each with their unique characteristics and ecological importance. Understanding and appreciating these remarkable animals is vital for their conservation and the preservation of the diverse ecosystems they inhabit. 

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