Body Language of Bears : Analysis of Wild and Dangerous Animals

Body Language of Bears Introduction

Statistics for World animal foundation mentioned on August 30 2023 that there are approximately 40 deaths that happen every year due to attacks by bears every year. This number is quite small when compared to deaths caused by many other wild animals though. But it is important to understand why bears attack. Majority of these attacks take place as a defense attack from the bear, so when it feels threatened it will attack.

As a fact, grizzly bears, also called brown bears, are the most aggressive bear, bigger in size than black bears. They might have a bite force of over 1200 psi.

A Positive Change Due To Education of Body Language of Bears

Although, earlier there used to be more attacks than this. In 2011-2015, these numbers were around 664. Statistics state that in 2023 currently, in almost 2.1 million chances there is just 1 getting attacked by bears. Even though urbanisation is in full boom all around the world, the number of attacks by bears have considerably gone down. One reason is the excellent information and observations that wildlife enthusiasts have discovered.

It makes it very important to understand why bears attack, how people actually misinterpret it and how understanding things in a better way about bears can be helpful to reduce these numbers further down. We realised the importance of this knowledge while we were creating some animation presets for bears as many of our clients use these presets for movies or films where they want animals in the clip.

The Crux of The Issue in understanding the Body Language of Bears

Bears are very playful by nature. They are omnivorous, so it makes a lot of bears more prominent to approach humans or human dominant areas nearby them in search of some good food. They play with conspecifics and subordinate wild mammals (which will include humans along with other wild animals).Bears love to eat, sleep, play wrestling, and interact with fellow bears.

Apart from this, they have a nature to dominate. If the subordinates usually challenge the elderly fellows so that they can be the dominant one; lot of ego they’d carry. They usually never tend to initiate a fight, rather they’d try to appease whosoever comes in their way. But honestly, suddenness is another key trait, which has been demonstrated multiple times by this large terrestrial mammal where they’d attack on subordinate fellows and rip them off.

At instances, they’d just attack and then rip them off partially and then even leave them suddenly towards anything else they’d like. We mentioned this in one of our video (Threats versus attacks that humans need to understand in a broader sense).

Behavior to understand Body Language of Bears

Now we shall briefly discuss their body language of bears broadly. You may check the videos for a better understanding though!!

Bears love to display their dominance. Their displays are usually cryptic in nature, which is also found in other wild or even canid and bovid animals but here we’re discussing bears. Bears also the most common form of display being a “Broadside Display”. Broadside display can be understood better in our video here.

Broadside display, they’d gaze at their opponent positioning itself tangent to them. While it will gaze towards them, either consistently or an assertive gaze, which is a more prominent indication that it has intentions to attack, although not always the case. But, in most cases, an animal looking at you continuously is counter-intuitively less prone to actually make an attacking contact.

Sumo Strutt, they’ll love to do this, 98% only 2 adult males would do this. They will urinate while walking forward, while the urine moves through its legs and then getting grounded after taking some swirls around their feet, most probably carrying their body fragrance which would reek them due their own pheromones. So probably you’ve already understood why and when they must do this. So if you’ve got it correct, then yes, this happens in the mating season, it is a dominance display between two adult male rivals to prove to the female bears who she should make further conducts with …hahah.

Females have their own sumo strut which is called a goose step slide, having the same urine flow they’ll splash into their urine each time they make a hop on their rear feet while their hands are locked and will slide against the ground as they move forward.

Then there’s cowboy walk. It is called a cowboy walk as it is similar to a horseman who is bowlegged when ofcourse sitting on the horseback.

Stomp walk. Stomp walk is similar to a group of military marching. Check the video please.

Direct and Diagonal charges Unlike other wild animals who use broadside display as a technique to deceive their target, bears would usually come from a direct position i.e. a frontal attack position from a broadside position when approaching their target. They’d run towards their target in this position. Now the variation in the run is that they might run diagonally aspecting their target rather than running directly into them mostly. In this case, this angle of turning their heads towards the target can vary from 2-3 degrees to even 45 degrees. But, it has been observed that as the angle increases, it is more unlikely that the bear would make an attacking contact.

We already discussed averted gazing above. Averted gazing is usually accompanied by a deceptive grazing. Bears stand here differently again. Bears would also deceive and act as if grazing but is most probably gazing at its target and would attack when it realises that it is best to attack.

Where to Get the Animations Used for Body Language of Bears?

You can find all the animations used in the series and much more in the animal rig and animation asset pack on our website.

Animal Rig & Animation Asset Pack

The Body Language of Bear rig includes the following animations:

  1. Digging and Sniffing
  2. Eating From Ground
  3. Fishing at Waterfall
  4. Growling
  5. Grazing
  6. Jump
  7. Rolling
  8. RunCycle
  9. Sitting and Eating
  10. Sitting Down
  11. Sitting Up
  12. Sleeping or Hibernating
  13. Standing
  14. Swim Cycle
  15. Walk Cycle
  16. Sumo Strut
  17. Stomp Walk
  18. Surrender
  19. Goose Step Slide
  20. Direct and Diagonal Charge
  21. Defecating
  22. Cowboy Walk
  23. Aggressive
  24. Reluctance
  25. Neutral

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