Brown bear in Sweden.

Sweden - Brown Bears

Brown bears in Sweden live mostly in the northern parts of the country. They live wildly and are scattered at varying locations, while rarely being viewed by people. The brown bear is considered to be discreet and shy and is covered in thick brown fur. It is not this creature’s nature to be aggressive. Cases of Swedish bear attacks on humans are generally linked to the animal having been wounded and feeling the need to defend itself.

These animals are omnivores;their diet includes berries, mousses, ants and roots of plants. Brown bears hibernate during the winter months, yet before they do they fatten up on berries during autumn. A variety of berries such as blueberries, raspberries and cloudberries grow in abundance during the season of summer. Berries tend to drop off the branches and land on the forest floors and that is a great treat for brown bears.

Near to winter time, odd bits of moss and twigs are gathered by brown bears, and this accumulated material is utilized to build their hibernation home at the site of a large tree or in an anthill.

As bears mate between the summer months of May and June, the time for cub births follows in several months. Mother bears tend to give birth to cubs in the winter season, while in hibernation. She may give birth to 1 to 4 cubs per season. A recently born baby cub may weigh 300 to 400 grams and feeds off the milk of the mother bear. After a cub has grown and reached six months of age, it is usual for the young bear to leave the mother and venture on his or her own for a life away from the mother.

An adult male bear may weigh about 100 - 350kgs and a female adult bear may weigh about 60 - 240kgs. Reports of brown bears killing a human are quite rare, even in the whole of Scandinavia. A brown bear standing on its hind legs is not a sign of attack. Often the bear does such a stance to gain a greater and wider view, to confirm a sense of something smelt or heard.
There is wise advice to all people to avoid leaving food waste around their camp site. Many people may adventure in the northern regions of Sweden and to protect the brown bear species, it is best to not let the bear become accustomed to linking food with humans. It would also be extremely dangerous for a human to try and reach out to wild bears. People protect the bears best by respecting their wild lifestyle and not disturbing their natural habitat.

Guidelines for a chance encounter with a wild brown bear are to speak loudly and then slowly retreat away from this wild furry mammal. By a stroke of ill luck that a bear may be after you, it is recommended to distract it with an object such as a rucksack (by placing it between you and the bear). The last resort is to play dead, curl up in a foetal position and be passive to express no threat to the bear.