Cypress came to Out of Africa Wildlife Park with her sister Aspen at just 6 months of age from a taxidermist in North Carolina. Kept in a 10’ x 10’ cage with concrete floors until rescued, she now enjoys the space and stimulation she needs, including swimming and playing in the Wonders of Wildlife show on most Saturdays. While her sister was more curious and loving, Cypress acts more like a typical grizzly bear. With a 2-acre habitat to romp around in, there’s plenty of room to satisfy the playful personality of Cypress. With a yearlong, steady diet along with a mild and bearable winter (pun intended), Cypress does not hibernate. However, she does become a bit lethargic during the winter months.
The grizzly bear is known by many names: the silvertip bear, the grizzly, or the North American brown bear. It is a subspecies of the brown bear that generally lives in the uplands of Western North America. The species is found in Alaska, south through much of Western Canada, and into portions of the Northwestern United States including Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Wyoming, extending as far south as Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, but is most commonly found in Canada.
Most adult female grizzlies weigh 290 to 650 pounds, while adult males weigh on average 350 to 890 pounds.The average total length in this subspecies is 6 ½ feet with an average shoulder height of 3 ½ ft and hind-foot length of 11 inches. Surprisingly, newborn bears may weigh less than one pound. Although variable from blond to nearly black, grizzly bear fur is typically brown in color with white tips. A pronounced hump appears on their shoulders; the hump is a good way to distinguish a black bear from a grizzly bear, as black bears do not have this hump.
The gestation period of a grizzly is 6 to 8 months, including a 5-month delayed implantation period. (Once mated with a male in the summer, the female delays embryo implantation until hibernation). The number of cubs born can be between 1 and 4, although 2 is more typical. The mother cares for the cubs for up to 2 years, during which time she will not mate. Sexual maturity is reached between 3 and 5 years. Once the young leave or are killed, females may not produce another litter for 3 or more years, depending on environmental conditions. Because of these factors grizzly bears have one of the lowest reproductive rates of all terrestrial mammals in North America.