Zoo Animals


Grizzly bear

Ursus arctos horribilis

At the Detroit Zoo

Three grizzly bear cubs – Mike, Thor and Boo – were found orphaned in Alaska after their mother was shot and killed by a poacher. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game contacted the Detroit Zoological Society seeking a home for the 10-month-old brothers. They arrived via FedEx plane and have called the Detroit Zoo home since December 2011. Mike, Thor and Boo engage in playful antics and love to compete in sibling wrestling matches. Mike, the most laid back of the three, can often be seen quietly resting his chin on objects around the habitat, while the mischievous Boo instigates rough play as he carries sticks and other toys in his mouth. Thor is described as very disciplined and aware of his surroundings.

The Detroit Zoo is also home to female Kintla, who was relocated twice in the wild before being rescued by the Zoo when she was 2 years old. She was captured by Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks in 1986 after showing interest in the area’s honey industry, frequently “inspecting” the beehives. She is described as wise, sweet and kind by her zookeepers.  The grizzly bears can be found in the bear dens in the American Grasslands.

The grizzly bear is a massive animal with an elevated forehead and humped shoulders. Its coat color ranges from off-white, tan, yellow, brown to black. The name grizzly comes from the grizzled-gold coloration on the tips of the fur as the bear matures.


Fun Facts

  • A female grizzly bear will nurse her cubs in the den until they are 2-3 years of age.

  • A grizzly bear is able to smell food that is miles away, and its sense of smell is even better than that of a hound dog.