Classic characters of folklore and held in complete awe by most Native American Indian tribes the bear has had a complicated relationship with humans. They have been feared, trapped, hunted and displayed on zoos. Sure we cannot deny that the bear is an apex predator of great size and strength, but it is undoubtedly the bear’s undeniable intelligence that causes the creature to be something we fear and revere at the same time.
Many wildlife biologists are certain that the bear is one of, if not the, most intelligent land mammal on Earth – especially of North America. Their brain is the biggest and most intriguing considering how big they are compared to any other land mammal. When it comes to the animal kingdom we consider their intelligence to be compared with those of higher primates. Bears are known to be social animals, they have hierarchies and even structured relationships.
Biologists and researchers have already noticed that bears even go as far as sharing resources. The polar bears, who many believe are lone warriors that walk around the ice as a solitary hunter, actually are part of the community. They are a group of polar bears and never lose track of their other members.
Zookeepers know that bears are smarter than dogs, and we have seen them complete complex tasks such as opening locks and doors. This shows that bears can learn and process information, not to mention that circus bears have been taught to ride vehicles or even play musical instruments.
Of course the real cunning and legendary stories come from poachers and hunters – the bear is an amazing skill of evading capture and staying alive. The animal seems to always be able to avoid humans during hunting season. Many believe the grizzly bear has self awareness and regularly covers its tracks to conceal themselves from hunters.
Another indication that bears are intelligent is that they are omnivores like humans. Omnivores are generally much smarter thant specialized eaters, this is because following a varied diet means that you have to remember a great amount of information about food. A grizzly’s memory is so good that it can remember food sources they found over 10 years ago.