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Bear Identification - Front Claws

Long claws on the front feet are also a good way to tell a grizzly from a black bear—for obvious reasons, this method has its limitations! Grizzly bears have gently curved, often light colored, 2-4 inch long claws adapted for digging roots and excavating a winter den. The claws of an adult grizzly can be longer than a person's finger. Black bears have shorter, more sharply curved, dark, claws that are often less than 2-inches long. These claws are well adapted for climbing trees and tearing into rotten logs in search of insects.

Grizzly bear front claw

Grizzly Bear

Black bear front claw

Black Bear

Grizzly bear front claws

Grizzly Bear

Bear photo.

Black Bear