National Zoo & Aquarium

Hi! I’m Darkle a European Brown Bear

The European Brown Bear is the smallest in the brown bear family. Other brown bear family members are the Grizzly and Kodiak. Hundreds of years ago, Brown bears were found throughout Britain, Europe, North Africa, Asia and North America. Today the strongholds for this species are found in northern regions, mostly within Russia, Canada and Alaska. In Europe, there are 14,000 brown bears in ten fragmented populations.

While brown bears are classified as carnivores because of physiological characteristics, they are in fact omnivores; the largest omnivorous mammal. In the wild, bears have a very varied diet ranging from grasses, herbs, roots, berries, nuts, as well as insects, mammals, and fish.

The National Zoo is home to 1 brown bear, Darkle.

European Brown Bear

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European Brown Bear facts

CONSERVATION STATUS Least Concern
DISTRIBUTION Siberia and Northern and Southern Europe
SIZE 260–360kg (male), 150–250kg (female)
LAFE SPAN 25–30 years in the wild, up to 40 years in captivity
GESTATION 180–266 days

Learn more about the national zoo & aquarium on our zooventure tour

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Scrivener Dam, Yarralumla, Canberra, ACT 2611

Open every day from 9:30am to 5:00pm

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