Grizzly Boys

Grizzly bear

Ursus arctos horribilis

At the Detroit Zoo
Three grizzly bears – Mike, Thor and Boo – were found orphaned in Alaska as cubs after their mother was shot and killed illegally. 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 seem to enjoy competing in sibling wrestling matches; Boo is often the instigator of rough play.  The grizzly bears can be found in the bear dens in the American Grasslands.

Jebbie, a young orphan grizzly bear who was unlikely to survive alone in the wild, found sanctuary and companionship at the Detroit Zoo in the summer of 2021. He shares space with polar bear Laerke, who needed a bear to learn and grow with. The two are great companions and can be seen swimming, tumbling, and chasing each other around their spacious habitat in the Arctic Ring of Life.

Grizzly bears are massive animals with elevated foreheads and humped shoulders. Their 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.