How Long Do Bears Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 25 years

Bears are mostly carnivorous mammals except for the Giant Panda which feeds mostly on bamboo. Bears are not regarded as very friendly animals but rather as solitary animals. However, as it would be evident, they are interactive when desirous of mating or nursing their children.

Bears come from the Carnivora order and their infraorder is Arctoidea. These animals come from the family of Ursidae and may be diurnal or nocturnal. Bears are examined to have a great sense of smell and though they are heavy, yet they are adapted to climbers and swimmers.


How Long Do Bears Live?

Species Of BearLife Expectancy
North American Black Bear18 to 20 years
Brown bear20 to 30 years
Polar bear22 to 25 years
Giant Panda15 to 20 years
Asiatic black bear20 to 25 years
Andean Bear18 to 22 years
Sloth Bear30 to 35 years
Sun Bear25 to 30 years

There are eight species of bear that have been discovered by mankind. These species of bear are widely scattered across the globe ranging from North America, Europe, and Asia. However, the polar bear is the only major bear species to have a habitat in the southern hemisphere.

North American black bear, as is evident from its name, is predominantly found in Northern America. The male and the female bears reach their full size and are ready to reproduce when between 5 to 8 years old. They live for 18 to 20 years.

The brown bear is expected to live for about 20 to 30 years and is also known as the grizzly bear. Polar bears are most common in the Antarctic and Arctic regions where they live for about 22 to 25 years. The Giant Panda, which is most common in China and feeds on bamboo, has a life expectancy of about 15 to 20 years.

The Asiatic black bear, which is expected to live a life of 20 to 25 years, can be identified by the white patches on its chests. Andean bear lives for about 18 to 22 years and are found in the Andes Mountains. The sloth bear is projected to have a very large lifespan of about 30 to 35 years while the sun bear lives for about 25 to 30 years.

Why Do Bears Live That Long?

Bears have lived on the planet as long as humans have. Having lived on the planet for so long, their generations have been able to adjust to changing environments. This has made the prospects of them living a longer life more.

With the advent of the 19th century, breathtaking developments have taken in the field of science and technology. Apart from research on human health, scientists also made researches on wildlife. They understood the causes behind bear diseases and the means to cure them.

This helped to prevent diseases and outbreaks which would be frequent. As a result, the average life expectancy of bears increased due to better medical care and attention.

Another reason for the increase in the general life expectancy of bears is the setting up of facilities like zoos and wildlife conservation facilities. Such facilities have all the amenities and facilities required to take proper care of the bears. This system has a positive bearing on the regular life expectancy of bears.

One other critical factor that has helped in the conservation and providing safe sanctuaries to bears is the enactment of anti-poaching laws by various countries. As is well known, poaching and hunting wildlife is a substantial threat to its existence. By the enactment of strict laws, countries have made sure that they do enough to make their habitat safe to be called their home.


Bears have an average lifespan of approximately 25 years. However, they are 8 in species and each species has its distinct average life expectancy. It is because different species reside in different geographical locations and have different physical features.

Bears have evolved over the years and adapted to the changing natural environment. The advancement in the field of science and technology has immensely boosted the prospects of their long and healthy life. Apart from that, the setting of wildlife conservation centers and the enactment of protective laws have further increased those chances.



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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