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10 things you probably don't know about bears

By: Jaymi Heimbuch on Oct. 20, 2015, 9:36 a.m.
A grizzly bear sow with two cubs.

Photo: Volt Collection/Shutterstock

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The most widespread bear species is ...

... the brown bear.

Found across Europe and North America, the brown bear once ranged across northern Africa and throughout Asia. Though its range has shrunk significantly in modern times, the brown bear is considered one of the only bear species not threatened with extinction. The only other bear to share this status of Least Concern is the North American black bear.

This isn't to say that offshoots of the brown bear family tree haven't suffered. Several subspecies of brown bear, including the California grizzly and Atlas bear, have been pushed into extinction. Several more subspecies are at significant risk, including the Syrian brown bear and Himalayan brown bear. And the brown bear is regionally extinct from former habitat including many countries in Europe.

There are an estimated 200,000 brown bears left in the world.