Zoo Animals

Brown bear

Ursus arctos

At the Detroit Zoo
Brown bear Polly was rescued from a travelling circus and adopted by the Detroit Zoo in 2000. Polly spends her days eating ice treats and bones and resting in the grass or up in one of the caves in her habitat. If you look closely, you can see a marking on her face that some say resembles an angel. Polly can be found in the bear dens south of the giraffes.


The brown bear has a large head, prominent shoulder hump and massive paws. The large hump on its back is packed with muscle and it has long sharp claws which makes this bear a perfect digging machine. Its coat can be brown, blonde or black.

Fun Facts

  • Contrary to popular belief, brown bears don’t hibernate. Beginning in October and November, they enter a state of lethargy that lasts all winter, and they sleep most of the time. During this time they can, however, be roused and become active.

  • Despite their enormous size, brown bears are extremely fast, having been clocked at speeds of 30 mph.