Grizzly Bear Vs Gorilla, Who Would Win?

A fight between these two majestic animals would require full strength and wit for neither would go down easy. Tell us who you think would be the medalist in a pound to pound fight in the comment section.

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The grizzly bear is a member of the brown bear species with silver to pale-tipped hairs that give their fur a grizzly effect, hence their name. They are robust animals with fur ranging from light tan to dark brown. They have a dished face with short, rounded ears and a large hump on their shoulders that acts as an attachment for the backbone muscles.

Gorillas are gentle giants with a black hairless face packed with small eyes and large, prominent nostrils. They have massive chests and shoulders, powerful large hands, and stocky legs. Their males are distinctly characterized with white to silver hair on their backs, lending them the name silverbacks. Males also have a pronounced crest in the midline of their skulls.


The grizzlies can weigh an upward of 700 pounds (315 kg) though males are larger than females and can reach maximums of 1700 pounds (770 kg). An adult male can grow to a length of 8 feet (2.5 meters) attaining a shoulder height of 4.9 feet (1.5 meters). They are damned with long claws that measure about 2-4 inches (10cm).

Silverbacks can weigh a significant of 485 pounds (220 kg) in the wild and attain a height of about 5.5 feet (1.7 meters) standing on 2 feet, similar to the average height of an adult human. Females are about half their size and can attain a weight of only 190 pounds (90 kg) and stand 4.5 feet (1.5 meters) tall.


Grizzly bears have roamed North America from Alaska to Mexico and have been legendary animals among the native Americans. They continue to roam in Alaska, western Canada, and some parts of the northwestern United States.

Gorillas, on the other hand, are dwellers of the rainforests and bamboo forests of the highland terrains of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.


Grizzly bears are typically solitary animals except for a mother and her cubs. However, they may congregate to mate or on common hunting spots to enjoy a buffet of fish. They are also territorial and would rub their backs against a tree to mark their territories. Grizzlies dig dens using their sharp, long claws to hibernate during winter for about 5–8 months. They communicate occasionally by growling, moaning, or grunting. Grizzly bears are solely diurnal but tend to switch their patterns when disturbed by humans.

On the contrary, gorillas live in family groups of between 6 to 30 members led by an alpha silverback male and one or more of his sons. They are mostly diurnal and generally terrestrial although juveniles and female gorillas climb trees more than the males. Also, young females leave their native troops to go seek mates though cases of reproducing in their original troops are known.


Grizzly bears vocalize when agitated, angry, or nervous. These sounds include low growls, huffings, jaw-popping, barks, chomps, and woofs. They are often carried as a warning that you are too close. Squeals or whimpers are let out to indicate pain or moaning while in fear. During mating combats with other males, male grizzlies tend to bellow, and to show contentment both males and females may mumble, hum or purr. Mothers communicate with their young through moans, growls, or grunts. Cubs scream in terror when endangered. Roars are also made in conflicts but they are no match for the lion’s roars.

Gorillas make loud “waaaahh” sounds to scare off their adversaries. This is called a roar. Other vocalizations made by these apes include growls, grunts, screams, and laughing sounds. A distinct chuckling or laughing sound is usually made by youngsters in their playfulness while grunts, which sound more like pig grunts or cough grunts are made frequently in their mid-day nap sessions as if to communicate rest period is about to end. Gorilla infants make bleating sounds to communicate distress to their mothers. Clapping of hands, the beating of the chest accompanied by growls are done by alpha males to display their prowess.


Grizzlies are considered to be among the smartest land animals in North America. Spoiler alert! They are not as smart as the gorillas. However, they are self-aware creatures that are known to cover their truck or hide in rocks and trees to evade hunters. Animal trainers also consider them to be smarter than dogs as circus bears can balance on balls, roller skates, or even play sports.

Gorillas are rather super-intelligent primates whose 98.3% DNA resembles that of humans. Gorillas, like humans, can make and use tools, lead emotional lives developing strong family ties. Some have been spotted using a tree stump as a bridge and also use a stick to gauge the depth of water before crossing a swamp. Captives can learn sign language and numerous tricks as well.


Grizzly bears are typically omnivores, more often preying on large mammals such as moose, deer, elks, caribou, or even black bears. They can also complement their diet with bulbs, roots, berries, sedges, and pine nuts. Though they prefer dense boreal forests, only young grizzly bears can climb trees.

Gorillas are primarily herbivores that spend most of their time foraging and resting. Their diet consists of leaves, stalks, shoots, fruits, ants, and termites.

Strength and Bite force

The grizzly bear has powerful jaws with a bite force of 1200 pounds per square inch which allows them to bite through thick trees and bones and cast iron skillets. They are without doubt symbols of strength.

Gorillas are equally blasted with a bite force of 1300 pounds per square inch and a good set of strong teeth which they use to grind tough barks and roots. Their strength is as much as six times that of humans due to their masculine figure and larger posture.


Grizzly bears are pretty fast and can reach top speeds of 35 mph (56 km/h) for every short sprint. They are also excellent swimmers too.

Gorillas are rather lousy swimmers who fear water. In comparison to the fastest running human, Usain Bolt, whose record was 23.35 mph (37.58 km/h), they are equally fast reaching speeds of 20-25 mph (32-40 km/h).

Attack and Defense

Grizzlies are aggressive animals who fluff their fur to look bigger when facing a potential enemy. They also stand on hind legs when fighting, get their long claws on target and charge at the enemy. Mother bears are particularly very protective of their cubs and easily attack. Males are grand wrestlers as they are accustomed to fighting for mating rights.

Do not be fooled by the gorilla’s calm stature. Though shy, these giants can turn ferocious when disturbed. Terrifying roars, beating their chests and heavy stomping on the ground are major signs of a potential attack. Silverbacks are particularly aggressive in defending their troops from unwanted males roaming about their territories.

 Who would win?

Because they are found in completely different habitats, the chances of combat between these two giants are rather dim. However, on hypothetical grounds, the combat could go either way. But let’s indulge to see who is more likely to be the ‘prizeman’.

Grizzly bears have the size advantage against the gorillas, topped up with their ability to fluff themselves to appear even bigger. Other than their size, they are also well equipped with strong jaws supplemented with 4-inch long canines that can deliver a proportionately deep puncture wound on the gorilla. Their long, sharp claws can cause lethal wounds with one swipe targeted on the gorilla’s hairless chest. Their thick skin is lined with fat that protects them from puncture wounds as well.

Though smaller in size, gorillas are stocky and built with large muscular hands that could deliver a heavy blow on the grizzly bear, though not strong enough to kill it. Their thick hair would also protect them from deep wounds although not all their body is covered. Gorillas are also smart, with the ability to hold and throw objects aimed at smashing the bear.

However, most of the gorilla’s physique is for posturing and smart mindedness is just not enough to defeat an adult male grizzly bear. The grizzly bear is also used to exhibiting his pure strength when fighting for mating rights. He would therefore easily establish superiority over a silverback gorilla making him disengage to save his life. More often than not, the grizzly bear would conquer the battle.


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