Animal Facts Carpathian Brown Bear

The Carpathian Brown Bear  (Ursus Arctos Formicarius) is one variety of brown bear that lives in Northern Europe. Quite a few live in the wooded areas of the Carpathian Mountains of Romania and the Transylvania Alps. It is often just called the European Brown Bear. This bear’s features include a concave face and large shoulder hump due to fat storage. Their claws are up to 6 inches long and are not curved. The brown fur is long and thick. They can weigh up to 1200 pounds depending on gender, age and food resources. They grow to be 6 to 8 feet long and have tails about 5 inches long. This species of bear will stand on its hind legs to hunt or to intimidate an enemy.

From Spring to late Autumn the Carpathian Brown Bear will spend the majority of their time looking for and eating food to sustain them during the winter months. Their diet includes red bilberries, aspen leaves and shoots, mushrooms, nuts, herbs and twigs. They often eat insects, birds and small mammals. Occasional they will hunt a large mammal or eat carrion. However in normal circumstances most of their diet is vegetation.   

Bears mate from late May to early July. Females are capable of pregnancy around age 5 to 7 years. Males are bit older before they are able to mate. Pregnancy occurs due to delayed implantation. The fertilized egg remains in the uterus but does not implant for 6 months. When the female hibernates the egg implants and within about 8 weeks the cubs will be born. Pregnant females will hibernate in their den throughout the winter living off the fat stored within their bodies. The den may be a cave or crevice or sometimes a hollow log. The cubs are usually born in January. Normally 2 cubs are born and rarely there will be 1 or 3 cubs. They are blind, without teeth, weigh about 1 pound and have very little fur. The cubs are highly dependent on their mothers in the cold climate and will die quickly without their mothers care. They will survive off their mother’s milk until Spring or early Summer and will leave the den when they weigh 15 to 20 pounds and can begin to eat the same food that their mothers eat. Carpathian Brown Bear cubs remain with their mothers for 2 to 4 years.

Carpathian Brown Bears have few natural predators though occasionally the bears themselves will fight over mates, territory and will kill other Carpathian Brown Bear cubs. In the past tigers and lions were natural predators but the population of lions and tigers has decreased and few encounters occur.  Humans are now the prominent danger to the Carpathian Brown Bear. 

This bear is also an endangered species due to loss of habitat and being hunted as game. Currently there are only about 2000 Carpathian Brown Bears left in the wilds of Romania. Efforts are being made by conservationists to make hunting this bear illegal. Zoos and wildlife parks also have some Carpathian Brown Bears and are attempting to breed this bear to increase its numbers.