Rovdjurscentret De 5 Stora

Mixed facts about the bear

  • The most thickly populated bear areas in Sweden are found around Ströms Vattendal in Jämtland, around Sånfjället in Härjedalen, Ovanåker/Edsbyn in the western part of Hälsingland, the territories north of Orsa in Dalarna and in the forests of Västerbotten and Norrbotten.
  • In the year 2008, approx. 3 200 bears were estimated living in Sweden.
  • Researchers have composed statistics about real encounters between bears and human beings. The results show a risk of 1 per 2 000 encounters for a bear to injure the human being. The behaviour of the human being is often decisive for the bear’s reaction when meeting. Most of times, the humans  do not notice the presence of the bear and such “meetings” do naturally not make part of the statistics.
  • The bear is rather adaptable and can live quite well in territories from tundra to semi-desert as long as there is sufficient food and adequate protection available.
  • The biggest male and female bears, shot and killed in Sweden had a weight of 338, resp. 237 kg.
  • In Russian, the bear is called “Medved” (the honey eater).
  • Of the approx. 500 bears that were shot and killed in Sweden in the years 1981 – 1998, the average weight and length were 126 kg and 152 cm (from nose to tail-end).
  • Half of its energy, the bear gets from eating berries, after that about 20 -25% comes from ants and elk each.
  • The bear burns 4 000 – 8 000 kcal per 24 hours during an active day. In autumn the bear can consume up to 20 000 kcal per day.
  • Says Jon Swenzon that, in order to retain the bear in its preferred environments in Sweden, it should be seen as valuable game, the number and presence of which should be kept within limits by hunting.
  • It is estimated, that the bear takes about one fifth of the number of elk calves born in the bears home territory.
  • Mortality rates are high among bear-cubs and low among full-grown bears. Most of the bears,  that do not die because of old age get killed by humans or by other bears.
  • The successful Nordic bear Research Project is supported by The Swedish Hunter Society (Svenska Jägareförbundet), the Nature Protecting Authority (Naturvårdsverket), the World Nature Fund (Världsnaturfonden) in Sweden. In Norway it is supported by the Authority for Nature Management (Direktoratet för Naturförvaltning) and the Norwegian Institute for Research in Nature.
  • The word “Teddybear” originates from Theodore Roosevelts period as President of the USA. The President, named Teddy by his friends, once participated in a bear hunt whereby he never succeeded in shooting a bear. One of his companions succeeded then in catching a small bear which he tied up to a tree. This way, he thought the President could have a trophy with him to his home. The President however, thought the animal that small and without any defense and refused to shoot the little animal. He requested his companions to set the bear free, which they did. A man, after having read the story about the President and the little bear, got a business brainwave. He asked his wife to sew up a small bear in plush material, to be sold in his shop. He then requested the President permission to call it “Teddy bear” and started a production of small plush bears. The President agreed to the Teddybear nomination and that name we still live with today.