European brown bear

Scientific name 
Ursus arctos
European brown bear at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Our European brown bear, Cinderella, has now moved to a hibernation den in the Zoo while we carry out important work to her home before new bears join her in spring 2023. Bear-enthusiasts, watch this space!



European brown bear

Latin name

Ursus arctos

What they look like

As its name indicates, the European brown bear is covered in brown fur, with the colours varying from a yellow brown to a dark brown. They are equipped with large paws, and claws that can grow up to 10cm long.

Animal facts

  • The European brown bear is one of the largest species of bear.
  • European brown bears are able to climb trees when they are cubs.
  • They are solitary animals, with the exception of females and their cubs and apart from when mating.

What they eat

A European brown bear’s diet is made up of a mixture of grasses, berries, sedges, fungi, mosses, nuts, fruit, honey, insects, birds and fish.


Mountain woodland

Where they live

North America, Europe and Asia


Hunting and habitat loss

Conservation Status
Least Concern