What if two of the most dangerous predators ever—the Grizzly bear and African lion—were to go head to head? Grizzly bears, a subspecies of the brown bear, are mainly found in North America and Canada. The African lion is the king of the African wild. This is a comparison between the two wild beasts to find out who will be the winner if there’s a fight between them.
Let’s get to know the Grizzly Bear and the African Lion
Grizzly bears are native to North America. They are also found in Canada. They are a subspecies of the brown bear, typically brown in color. Their fur might seem to be white-tipped or grizzled, which explains where they get their name from. They are known to be solitary creatures, preferring to stomp alone than in the company.
African lions, as the name suggests, are native to Africa. They are ferocious animals, popularly known as King of the Jungle. They roam in the sub-Saharan parts of Africa in groups known as pride. Only the males have gorgeous manes.
They protect the pride while the lionesses are the primary hunters. They’re the apex predators of the jungle.
An average adult male grizzly bear can weigh somewhere around 810 pounds. The average shoulder height lies somewhere between 3 ft 7 inches to 4 ft 2 inches, while the head and body length lies between 7 ft 2 inches to 7 ft 9 inches. They may live up to 25 years in the wild.
African lions can weigh between 265 to 425 pounds. Their average body length is 6 ft including the head. The shoulder height lies somewhere between 3 ft 5 inches to 3 ft 9 inches. They may live up to 15 years.
Grizzly bears are omnivores. They eat fruits, berries, and roots which are easily found. They also like to prey on salmon fish, elk, deer, and black bears.
African lions are full-fledged carnivores. They typically prey on wild buffaloes, wildebeests, zebra, deer, and antelopes.
Comparing features of a Grizzly Bear and an African Lion
|North America and Canada
|Ursus arctos horribilis
|265 to 420 pounds
|Head and body height
|7 ft 7 inches
|6 ft 2 inches
|4 ft 2 inches
|3 ft 7 inches
Strengths and weaknesses of the two animals“]
Who will be the ultimate winner in a fight between a Grizzly Bear and an African Lion? Let’s compare their strengths and weaknesses to find out.
If we compare the two animals on the basis of weight, the Grizzly bear has the upper hand. An average adult male grizzly bear may weigh a massive 810 pounds. One the other hand, the African lion generally weighs between 260 to 425 pounds.
Let’s look at the top speeds of the two predators. An African lion can run at a speed of 50 miles per hour. This is way faster than a grizzly bear’s speed, which may go up to 35 miles per hour.
Now we shall compare the bite force of the two animals. The grizzly bear wins this round, with a bite force of 1200 pounds per square inch. On the other hand, an African lion has a bite force of only 650 pounds per inch. This is comparatively weaker.
How deadly are a Grizzly bear and an African lion? Let’s compare the number of humans they kill every year. Lions kill around 250 people every year on average. They are much more deadly when compared to bears. Bears kill around 3 people a year in North America and Canada.
When it comes to claws, Grizzly bears have the upper hand. Their front claws may be as long as 4 inches. An African lion’s front paws can measure over 3 inches in length while their rear paws are about 2 inches long.
Both Grizzly bears and African lions have enormous fangs or teeth which can be very deadly. An adult male bear’s fangs may be about 3 inches in length. A lion has three kinds of teeth—incisors, molars, and canines. Canines are the largest teeth, used for tearing meat. They can range between 2 to 4 inches in length.
In terms of appetite, you can guess who’s ahead from the enormous size of a Grizzly bear. They weigh a massive 800 pounds, which is twice the size of an African lion. They have an equally large appetite.
Lions weigh between 265 to 420 pounds and have a much smaller appetite. While Grizzly bears consume 30,000 calories per day, an African lion only consumes 9,000 calories on a daily average.
|265 to 420 pounds
|Top speed in m/h
|35 miles per hour
|50 miles per hour
|Bite force in psi
|1200 pounds per square inch
|650 pounds per square inch
|People killed every year
|Claws or paws
|4 inches (front)
|3 inches (front), 2 inches (rear)
|Fangs or teeth
|2 to 4 inches
|30,000 calories per day
|9,000 calories per day
Does location matter?
Does it matter where they go head to head in a fight? Yes, it does. Environment matters when it comes to a match between a Grizzly bear and an African lion. The lion has mastered life in the grasslands of Savannahs. The bear is familiar with the cold climate and mountainous landscape of the North American and Canadian wilderness.
Whoever will have the advantage of battling in their home territory, they have a greater chance of success. The lion is quicker on its feet, adept at navigating the grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa. It has the advantage of stealth as well. The lion can sneak up on its prey at the most unexpected moment.
On the other hand, the bear has the advantage of body and build. It’s familiar with doing the heavy lifting. This includes using its paws to break the ice or tackle hard objects like wood. Its long and sharp claws are similarly adapted to the landscape.
Grizzly Bear vs African Lion: Who is our ultimate winner?
Looking at their strengths and weaknesses, we can make a fair guess on who will emerge as our ultimate winner. Is it the Grizzly bear or the African lion? Let’s weigh the odds and figure it out together.
African lions are better hunters than the grizzly bear. African lions are faster, with sharp canines suited perfectly to the purpose of tearing flesh. They prey upon larger animals like wild buffaloes, zebras, and deer.
Living in the Savannahs means one has to struggle to survive. Lions are adept at hunting wild animals, with sharper hunting skills than the bear.
Grizzly bears, on the other hand, prefer to look for food that is easily obtained. They can survive on fleshy roots, wild berries, and fruits. They hunt smaller prey like fishes and elks.
A Grizzly bear is way larger and heavier than an African lion. They can weigh twice as much. They can cause more damage to their opponent, even if lions have the upper hand in terms of speed and skill. A Grizzly bear’s claws are sharper and larger, with the ability to do a good amount of harm. If it comes to a fist-fight, they may beat the odds.
However, an African lion’s teeth can bite to kill. It can clamp down on its prey using its jaw. This can stop the prey from making any movement. With its quick reflexes, the lion can deal a decisive blow by lunging at the bear’s neck or face.
Grizzly bears are responsible for killing an average of 3 people every year in North America and Canada. In contrast, an African lion kills up to 250 people every year. As we can see, statistics are definitely in the lion’s favor.
A Grizzly bear and an African lion may never actually meet and go head to head in real life. They live in two vastly different geographical and climatic zones. However, if they were to meet, what will be the outcome?
Who is most likely to emerge victorious if there was a hypothetical fight between a Grizzly bear and an African lion? You might have taken a few guesses already. Well, here is our final verdict.
The outcome of the match will depend on several factors. The location will have its say. If it comes to a direct fistfight, the Grizzly Bear has the odds in its favor. However, in the battle between brain and brawn, the smarter guy always wins. In terms of skill, agility, and experience, the scales tip in favor of the African lion.
The African Lion is known as the King of the Jungle. It is the apex predator in sub-Saharan Africa. Grizzly bears also lie on top of the food chain in the North American wilderness.
They are equally matched in many aspects but there is one most likely winner in a hypothetical match between the two. This is the African Lion—the one and only true King of the wild!