- February 28, 2007
From California Grizzly:
WAR! WAR!! WAR!!!
The celebrated Bull-killing Bear,
will fight a Bull on Sunday the 15th inst., at 2 P.M.,
at Moquelumne Hill.
The Bear will be chained with a twenty-foot chain in the middle of the arena. The Bull will be perfectly wild, young, of the Spanish breed, and the best that can be found in the country. The Bull's horns will be of their natural length, and not "sawed off to prevent accidents." The Bull will be quite free in the arena, and not hampered in any way whatever.
The proprietors then went on to state that they had nothing to do with the humbugging which characterised the last fight, and begged confidently to assure the public that this would be the most splended exhibition ever seen in the country.
I had often heard of these bull-and-bear fights as popular amusements in some parts of the State . . . on Sunday the 15th, I found myself walking towards the arena, amoung a crowd of miners and others of all nations, to witness the performances of the redoubted General Scott.
The ampitheatre was a roughly but strongly built wooden structure, uncovered of course; and the outer enclosure, which was of boards about ten feet high, was a hundred feet in diameter, and enclosed by a very strong five-barred fence. From the top of this rose tiers of seats, occupying the space between the arena and the outside enclosure.
As the appointed hour drew near, the company continued to arrive till the whole place was crowded; while to beguile the time till the business of the day should commence, two fiddlers-a white man and a gendtleman of colour-performed a variety of appropriate airs.
The scene was gay and brilliant, and was one which would have made a crowded opera-house appear gloomy and dull in comparison. The shelving bank of human beings which encircled the place was like a mass of bright flowers. The most conspicious objects were the shirts of the miners, red, white, and blue being the fashionable clours, amoung which appeared bronzed and beardedfaced under hats of every hue; revolvers and silver-handled bowie-knives glanced in the bright sunshine, and among the crows were numbers of gay Mexican blankets, and red and blue French bonnets, while here and there the fair sex was represented by a few Mexican women in snowy-white dresses, puffing their cigaritas in delightful anticipation of the exciting scene which was to be enactedl Over the heads of the . . . spectators was seen the mountan beyond mountain . . . and on the green turf of the arena lay the great centre of attraction, the hero of the day, General Scott.
He was . . . confined in his cage, a heavy wooden box lined with iron, with open iron bars on one side, which for the present was boarded over. From the centre of the arena a chain led into the cage, and at the end of it no doubt the bear was found. Beneath the scaffolding on which sat the spectators were two pens, each containing a very handsome bull, showing evident signs of indignation at his confinement. Here also was the bar, without which no place of public amusement would be complete.
There was much excitement among the crowd as to the result of the battle, as the bear had already killed several bulls; but an idea prevailed that in the former fights the bulls had not had fair play, being tied to a rope to the bear, and having the tips of their horns sawed off. But on this occasion the bull was to have every advantage which could be given him; and he certainly had the good wishes of the spectators, though the bear was considered such a succesful and experienced bull-fighter that the betting was all in his favour. Some of my neighbours gave it as their opinion, that there was "nary bull in Calaforny as could whip that bar."
At last, after a final tatoo had been beaten on a gong to make the stragglers hurry up the hill, preparations were made for beginning the fight.
The Bear made his appearance before the public in a very bearish manner. His cage ran upon very small wheels, and some bolts having been slipped connected with the face of it, it was dragged out of the ring, when, as his chain only allowed him to come within a foot or two of the fence, the General was rolled out upon the ground all of a heap, and very much against his inclination, apparently, for he made violent efforts to regain his cage as it disapeared. When he saw that was hopeless, he floundered half-way round the ring at the length of his chain, and commenced to tear up the ear with his fore-paws. He was a grizzly bear of pretty large size, weighing about twelve hundred poinds.
The next thing to be done was to introduce the bull. The bars between his pen and the arena were removed, while two or three men stood ready to put them up again as soon as he should come out. But he did not seem to like the prspect, and was not disposed to move till pretty sharply poked up from behind, when, making a furious dash at the red flag, which was being waved in front of the gate, he found himself in the ring face to face with General Scott.
The General, in the meantime, had scrapped a hole for himself two or three inches deep, in which he was lying down. This, I was told by those who has seen his performances before, was his usual fighting attitude.
The bull was a very beautiful animal, of a dark purple colour marked with white. His horns where refugular and sharp, and his coat was as smooth and glossy as a racer's. He stood for a moment taking a survey of the bear, the ring, and the crowds of people; but not likeing the appearance of things in general, he wheeled round, and made a splended dash for the bars, which had already been put up between him and his pen, smashing through them was as much ease as the man in the circus leaps through a hoop of brown paper. This was only loseing tim, however, for he had to go in and fight . . . He was accordingly again persuaded to enter the arena, and a perfect barricade of bars and boards was erected to prevent his making another retreat. But this time he had made up his mind to fight; and after looking steadily at the bear for a few minutes as if taking aim at him, he put down his head and charged furiously at him accorss the arena. The Bear received him crouching down as low as he could, and though one could hear the bump of the bull's head and horns upon his ribs, he was quick enough to seize the bull by the nose before he could retreat. This spirited commencement of the battle on the part of the bull was hailed with uproarious applause; and by having shown such pluck, he had gained more than ever the sympathy of the people.
In the meantime, the bear, lying on his back, held the bull's nose firmly between his teeth, and embraced him round the neck with his fore-paws, while the bull made the most of his opportunities in stamping on the bear with his hind-feet. At last the General became exasperated at such treatment, and shook the bull savagely by the nose, when a promiscuous scuffle ensued, which resulted in the bear throwing his antagonist to the ground with his fore-paws.
For this feat the bear was cheered immensely, and it was thought that, having the bull down, he would make short work of him; but . . . neither the bear's teeth nor his long claws seemed to have much effect on the hide of the bull, who soon regained his feet, and disengaging himself, retired to the other side of the rin, while the bear again crouched down in his hole.
Neither of them seemed to be very much the worse of the encounter, excepting that the bull's nose had rather a ragged and bloody appearance; but after standing a few minutes, steadily eyeing the General, he made another rush at him. Again poor bruin's ribs resounded, but again he took the bull's nose into chancery . . . The bull, however, quickly disangaged himself, and was making off, when the General, not wishing to depart so soon, seized his hind-foot between his teeth, and, holding on by his paws as well, was thus dragged round the ring before he quitted his hold.
This round terminated with shouts of delight from the excited spectators, and it was thought that the bull might haev a chance after all. He had been severely punished, however; his nose and lips were a mass of bloody shreds, and he lay down to recover himself. But he was not allowed to rest very long, being poked up with sticks by men outside, which made him very savage. He made several feints to charge them through the bars, which, fortunately, he did not attempt, for he could certainly have gone through them as easily as he had before broken into his pen. He showed no inclination to renew the combat; but by goading him, and waving a red flag over the bear, he was eventually worked up to such a state of fury as to make another charge. The result was exactly the same as before, only that when the bull managed to get up after being thrown, the bear still had hold of the skin of his back.
In the next round both parties founght more savagely than ever, and the advantage was rather in favour of the bear: the bull seemed to be quite used up, and to have lost all chance of victory.
The conductor of the performancesthen mounted the barrier, and, addressing the crowd, asked them if the bull had fair play, which was unanimously allowed. He then stated that he knew there was not a bull in California which the General could not whip, and that for two hundred dollars he would let in the other bull, and the three should fight it out till one or all were killed.
This proposal was received with loud cheers, and two or three men going around with hats soon collected, in voluntary contributions, the required amount. The people were intensely excitedand delighted with the sport, and double the sum would have been just as quickly raised to insure a continuance of the scene. A man sitting next me, who was a connoisseur in bear-fights, and passionately fond of the amusement, informed me that this was "the finest fight every fit in the country."
The second bull was equally handsome as the first, and in as good condition. On entering the arena, and looking around him, he seemed to understand the state of afairs at once. Glancing from the bear lying on the ground, to the other bull standing at the opposite side of the ring, with dropping head and bloody nose, he seemed to divine at once that the bear was their common enemy, and rushed at him full tilt. The bear, as usual, pinned him by the nose; but this bull did not take such treatment so quitely as the other: struggling violently, he soon freed himself, and, wheeling around as he did so, he caught the bear on the hind-quarters and knocked him over; while the other bull, who had been quitely watching the proceedings, thought this a good opportunity to pitch in also, and rushing up, he gave the bear a dig in the ribs on the other side before he had time to recover himself. The poor General between the two did not know what to do, but struck out blindly with his fore-paws with such a suppliant pitiable look that I thought this the most disgusting part of the whole exhibition.
After another round or two with the fresh bull, it was evident that he was no match for the bear, and it was agreed to conclude the performances. The bulls were then shot to put them out of pain, and the company dispersed, all apparently satisfied that it had been a very splendid fight. . . .
I took a sketch of the General the day after the battle. He was in the middle of the now deserted arena, and was in a particularly savage humour. He seemed to consider my intrusion on his solitude as a personal insult, for he growled most savagely, and stormed about in his cage, even pulling at the iron bars in his efforts to get out. . . . I lighted my pipe, and waited till he should quite down into an attitude, which he soon did, though very sulkily, when he was that he could not help himself.
He did not seem to be much the worse of the battle, having but one wound, and that appeared to be only skin deep. (Borthwick, 1857 : 289-299.)
After the animals had been brought into the arena, a hind leg of the grizzly would be attacked by a "leathern cord" (Carter,1929 : 152), about twenty yards in length, to a forefoot of the bull; this kept the antagonists close together and also discouraged the bear from climbing the barrier and rampaging amoung the crowd. Then the handlers withdrew, and, as was observed by Robinson (1846 : 104), the two creatures
remained sole occupants of the square. The bull roared, pawed the earth, flung his head in the air, and at every movement of his opponent seemed inclined to escape, but the lasso checked his course, and brought both of them with a sudden jerk to the ground. Bruin, careless of the scene around him, looked with indifference upon his enemy,...but the jerk of the lasso aroused him as if to a sense of danger, and he rose up on his hind legs, in the posture of defence.
Quite often, the bull, infuriated by the indignities to which he had been subjected and not aware of the presence of the bear, would race arond in the arena in an attempt to gore men over the barrier. All the while, the grizzly, eyeing his adversary, would crouch low or, more frequently, rise up on his hind feet to full height. Although he might then be stirred to a frenzy as the bull, dashing hither and yon, yanked the tope with enough force to trip the bear onto his face, he rarely initiated the attack; instead he waited for the bull to charge.
If the grizzly was reluctant to fight, as sometime happened, he was pricked with "a nail fixed to the end of a stick" (Leonard, 1904 : 214-217) or was roped and dragged again and again against the bull until the bull exasperated (Garner, 1847b : 187). But these inducements rarely where necessary. More often, the bull, soon realizing that its enemy was at the other end of the rope, would stop his wild dashes about the ring and look carefully at the bear; then, curving his neck, he would advance slowly as though taking aim, and finally charge straight at the target with all the speed and fury he could muster. In the face of this onslaught, the grizzly invariably held firm, although different individuals met the attack in different ways. Some, standing erect, drove a paw straight into the muzzle of the oncoming bull. Others sprang for the neck and attampted to gain a strangle-hold with their powerful arms.
The usual way by which the bear countered the bull was to crouch and, as the horns smashed against his own ribs, sink his teeth into the opponent's sensitive nose, swing his arms over and behind the head, and squeeze mightily. More often than not, the impact of the charge threw the grizzly onto his back; but so long as he retained a hold on the bull's nose and embraced the neck, he had the advantage. The bull, then suffering intense painand bellowing horribly, could not gore him and would be forced to make frantic efforts to extricae itself. "The noise was terrific and the dust rose in clouds, while the onlookers shouted as they saw the fight was deadly and witnissed the flow of blood" (Hittell, 1885, I : 638). Sometimes the bear suddenly wrenched the bull's head to one side and snapped the spine (Bell, 1930 : 113), or he might try to bite off one of the forefeet. Garner (1847b : 187) said, "I have seen a bear get hold of a bull between the horns with his teeth and hold him there with the bull's nose on the ground for the space of ten minutes, and on being hauled off by the horsemen, again catch the bull by the lower joint."
If the bull won, triumph usually came early in the struggle; only with full fresh strength could he plunge his long, curving horns into the bear's body, toss his adversary high in the air, and then gore him to death as the bear lay prostrate on the ground.
"The beginning of this mortal struggle was always in the bull's favor"; but when the grapples were prolonged, the bull would be severely torn and lacerated. And "when some deep bite or the fatigue from the combat" or hot thirst from loss of blood "forced him to thrust out his tongue, the bear never failed to seize...this sensitive part, and to bury his terrible claws into it; not letting go his hold, whatever struggles his adversary made. The bull, conquered, reduced to bellowing frightfully, torn in every part, fell exhausted, and bled to death." (Carter, 1929 : 152.)
Many other travelers who saw fights testified to the viciousness of the tongue-clawing technique. Wilkes (1844 : 212) even said that "the only part of the bull" the grizzly "endeavors to attack is the tongue, by seizing which he invariably proves the victor." Jose Arnaz, a merchant in the southern California during 1840, told of a bear that
killed "three bulls, one after the other....when the bull aproached, the bear thrust a paw in its face, or caught it by one knee...In this way the bear forced the bull to lower its head, and when it bellowed caught it by the tongue. It was then necessary to seperate the combatants to prevent the bear from killing the bull immediately." (Sanchez, 1928 : 18.)
Another witness describes a struggle in which a bear with its entrails dragging ripped off the tongue, the ears, and much of the lower jaw of the bull.
Once a bear got hold of the bull's tongue, the batle usually soon ended in complete triumph for the grizzly...
From this source, which is credited to Big Bons:
In the great fiestas of times past at the Missions and Presidios there was always a bull and bear fight for the entertainment of the crowd. The last one on record that I know of took place at Pala, a branch or asistencia of the once great Mission San Luis Rey, in the mountains of San Diego County, nearly fifty years ago. One of the American newspapers in California published an account of it written by a correspondent who was present. I have the clipping of that and as it is a better-written description than I could produce myself, I give it herewith:
The bear was an ugly grizzly that for years had roamed the pine-clad region of Palomar Mountain, rising six thousand feet above the little Mission. Tied to a huge post in the center of the old adobe-walled quadrangle he stood almost as high as a horse, a picture of fury such as painter never conceived. His hind feet were tethered with several turns of a strong rawhide reata, but were left about a yard apart to give full play. To the center of this rawhide, between the two feet, was fastened another heavy reata, doubled and secured to a big loop made of doubled reatas thrown over the center post. The services of a man on horseback with a long pole were constantly needed to keep the raging monster from chewing through the rawhide ropes.
By the time the bear had stormed around long enough to get well limbered up after being tied all night the signal was given, the horseman effected his disappearance and in dashed a bull through an open gate. He was of the old long-horn breed but of great weight and power. He had been roaming the hills all summer, living like a deer in the chaparral of the rough mountains and was as quick and wild as any deer. He, too, like old bruin, had been captured with the noosed lazo in a sudden dash of horsemen on a little flat he had to cross to go to a spring at daylight and felt no more in love with mankind than did the bear. As he dashed across the arena it looked as if the fight was going to be an unequal one, but the bear gave a glance that intimated that no one need waste sympathy on him .
No creature is so ready for immediate business as is the bull turned loose in an amphitheater of human faces. He seems to know they are there to see him fight and he wants them to get their money's worth. So, as soon as the gate admits him, he goes for everything in sight with the dash of a cyclone. Things that outside he would fly from or not notice he darts at as eagerly as a terrier for a rat the instant he sees them in the ring.
This bull came from the same mountains as the bear and they were old acquaintances, though the acquaintance had been cultivated on the run as the bull tore with thundering hoofs through the tough manzanita or went plunging down the steep hillside as the evening breeze wafted the strong scent of the bear to his keen nose. But now, in the arena, he spent no time looking for a way of escape but at a pace that seemed impossible for even the great weight of the bear to resist he rushed across the ring directly at the enemy as if he had been looking for him all his life.
With wonderful quickness for so large an animal the bear rose on his hind legs and coolly waited until the long sharp horns were within a yard of his breast. Then up went the great paws, one on each side of the bull's head, and the sharp points of the horns whirled up from horizontal to perpendicular, then almost to horizontal again as bull and bear went rolling over together. In a twinkling the bear was on his feet again, but the bull lay limp as a rag, his neck broken.
In rode four horsemen and threw reatas around the feet of the dead bull, while the grizzly did his ferocious best to get at them. As they dragged the body of the vanquished victim out one gate, the runway to the bullpen was opened once more and a second bull, a big black one with tail up as if to switch the moon, charged into the arena. On his head glistened horns so long and sharp that it seemed impossible for the bear ever to reach the head with his death-dealing paws before being impaled.
But this problem did not seem to worry the grizzly . He had not been living on cattle for so many years without knowing a lot about their movements. When this new antagonist came at him he dodged as easily as a trained human bullfighter, and as the bull shot past him down came one big paw on the bovine's neck with a whack that sounded all over the adobe corral. A chorus of shouts went up from the rows of swarthy faces, with here and there a white face, as the victim, turning partly over, went down with a plunge that made one of his horns plow up the dirt, then break sharp off under the terrific pressure of his weight and momentum.
The bull was not done for; he tried to rise and bruin made a dash for him, but his tethers held him short of his goal. In a second the bull got to his feet and wheeled around with one of those short twists that makes him so dangerous an antagonist. But once he is wheeled around his course is generally straight ahead and a quick dodger can avoid him; however, he is lightning-like in his charge and something or somebody is likely to be overhauled in short order. So it was this time and before the bear could recover from the confusion into which he had been thrown by being brought up short by his tether, the bull caught him on the shoulder with his remaining horn.
Few things in nature are tougher than the shoulder of a grizzly bear and a mere side swing without the full weight of a running bull behind it was insufficient to make even this sharp horn penetrate. The bear staggered, but the horn glanced from the ponderous bone, leaving a long gash in the shaggy hide. This only angered bruin the more. He made a grab for the head of the bull but again was frustrated by the reatas which allowed him only a limited scope of action.
The bull returned to the charge as soon as he could turn himself around and aimed the long horn full at his enemy's breast. But just as the horn seemed reaching its mark the grizzly grabbed the bull's head with both paws and twisted it half round, with the nose inward. The nose he seized in his great white teeth and over both went in a swirl of dust while the crowd roared and cheered.
Now one could see exactly why cattle found killed by bears always have their necks broken. Bears do not go through the slow process of strangling or bleeding their victims, but do business on scientific principles.
This time the grizzly rose more slowly than before, nevertheless he rose, while the bull lay still in death.
The owners of the bear now wanted to stop the show but from all sides rose a roar of " Otro! Otro! Otro! Otro! toro! " "Another! Another! Another! Another bull!"
The owners protested that the bear was disabled and was too valuable to sacrifice needlessly; that a dead bull was worth as much as a live one, and more, but that the same arithmetic did not hold good for a bear. The clamor of the crowd grew minute by minute, for the sight of blood gushing from the bear's shoulder was too much for the equilibrium of an audience like this one.
Soon another bull shot toward the center of the arena. Larger than the rest but thinner, more rangy, he opened negotiations with even more vigor, more speed. With thundering thump of great hoofs, his head wagging from side to side, eyes flashing green fire, he drove full at the bear with all his force. The grizzly was a trifle clumsy this time and as he rose to his hind feet the bull gave a twist of his head that upset the calculations of the bear. Right into the base of the latter's neck went a long sharp horn, at the same time that the two powerful paws closed down on the bull's neck from above. A distinct crack was heard. The bull sank forward carrying the bear over backward with a heavy thump against the big post to which he was tied.
Again the horsemen rode in to drag out a dead bull. But the grizzly now looked weary and pained. Another pow-wow with his owners ensued while the crowd yelled more loudly than ever for another bull. The owners protested that it was unfair, but the racket rose louder and louder for the audience knew that there was one bull left, the biggest and wildest of the lot.
The crowd won, but bruin was given a little more room in which to fight. Vaqueros rode in and while two lassoed his forepaws and spread him out in front, the other two loosened his ropes behind so as to give him more play. He now had about half the length of a reata. Allowing him a breathing spell, which he spent trying to bite off the reatas, the gate of the bullpen was again thrown open.
Out dashed an old Red Rover of the hills and the way he went for the bear seemed to prove him another old acquaintance. He seemed anxious to make up for the many times he had flown from the distant scent that had warned him that the bear was in the same mountains. With lowered head turned to one side so as to aim one horn at the enemy's breast he cleared the distance in half a dozen leaps.
The bear was still slower than before in getting to his hind feet and his right paw slipped as he grabbed the bull's head. He failed to twist it over. The horn struck him near the base of the neck and bull and bear went rolling over together.
Loud cheers for the bull rose as the bear, scrambling to his feet, showed blood coming from a hole in his neck almost beside the first wound. Still louder roared the applause as the bull regained his feet. Lashing his sides with his tail and bounding high in fury he wheeled and returned to the fray. The bear rolled himself over like a ball and would have been on his feet again safely had not one foot caught in the reata which tied him to the post. Unable to meet the bull's charge with both hind feet solid on the ground he fell forward against his antagonist and received one horn full in the breast, up to the hilt.
But a great grizzly keeps on fighting even after a thrust to the heart. Again he struggled to his feet, the blood gushing from the new wound. With stunning quickness in so large an animal the bull had withdrawn his horn, gathered himself together and returned to the charge. The bear could not turn in time to meet him and with a heavy smash the horn struck him squarely in the shoulder forward of the protecting bone. Those who have seen the longest horns driven full to the hilt through the shoulder of a horse--a common sight in the bullfights of Mexico--can understand why the bear rolled over backward to rise no more.
- February 28, 2007
We Humans killed all the California Grizzlies before anyone bothered to really accurately weigh them so that we can get an idea of their size; supposedly, however, these Bears where rather large specimens, that had access to a variety of food sources the more interior Bears didn't, such as whale carcasses...
You also own a copy of the book California Grizzly, so if you may very well know just as much as I do, but in case you didn't read that section/remember everything it said, and for everyone else who doesn't own the book, I will write down what it says:
The weight of California grizzlies is a topic on which there are many statements and some estimates but few facts. We have found fully fifty references on the subject, including a few precise figures. Some state that the animal was actually weighed, but other "Weights" are sheer guesses. We know that the new-born grizzly was a relatively tiny creature, weighing less that two pounds; and we can be certain that some individuals attained to huge size-excluding exaggerations, there is adequate testimony on this point. The weight of any individual would depend on its age, sex, state of health, and nutrition, and possibly on the season of capture. The grizzly evidently had a growing period that lasted for several years. Data on grizzlies elsewhere indicate that males attain a larger size than females. It is possible that some grizzlies in California lived in places where a greater food supply was available that in other localities; and seasonal food supplies may have caused grizzlies to be fatter at certain times of year, such as after the acorn harvest. Data are lacking, however, on all these variables. 3
The two extreme statements we have found in regard to weights of California bears are these: "a young grizzly, weighing some eighty pounds" (Oct. 4, 1866; N 67) and "the bear tipped the beam-forbid it that anyone should question the reading of the scales!-at two thousand, three hundred and fifty pounds" (Newmark, 1926 : 447).
The last captive, "Monarch" (fig. 33), when killed after a long life in public zoo where he was underexercised and probably overfed, weighed 1,127 pounds (Grinnell et al., 1937 : 89). Adams' big captive, "Samson," was several times reported to weigh more than 1,500 pounds (Hittell, 1860 : 295). One report of 1956 (Herrick, 1946 : 179) states that a "mammoth grizzly," taken in what is now El Dorado County, afforded no less than 1,100 pounds of meat (which yielded the hunter $1,375). Of two killed in the hills near Matilija Canyon, Ventura County, in September, 1992, it was stated: "The largest . . . would weigh about 1500lbs; it was all two strong horses could do to drag it. . ." (N 93).
Our records of animals with weights below 1,000 pounds, mainly from early newspapers, are as follows: 250 pounds, one; 300 pounds, two; 500-525 pounds, four; 630-642 pounds, three; 700-800 pounds, four; 900-932 pounds, four. The few weights not given in round numbers may indicate that they were of bears actually weighed. There are fully fifteen statements in early newspapers and a dozen or more in books, of weights of "1,000 pounds" and upward, practically all in round numbers.
The maximum weight of male California grizzlies was estimated at 1,200 pounds by Grinnell (1938 : 72) and by Hall (1939 : 238), neither of whom had access to the numerous reports we have found on the subject. We are inclined to believe that the maximum was somewhat higher. Seton (1909 : 1032) was of the opinion that no true grizzly ever weighed 1,500 pounds or that any but the California grizzly reached 1,000 pounds; he gave 600 pounds as the average weight for males, and 500 for females.
Writing from Colorado of the bears there, Mills (1919 : 251-252) said:
The grizzly always appears larger than he really is. The average weight is between three hundred and fifty and six hundred pounds; males weigh a fourth more than females. Few grizzlies weigh more than seven hundred pounds, though exceptional specimens are known to have weighed more than one thousand. . . .It may be that years ago, when not so closely hunted, the grizzly lived longer and grew to a larger size . . .
3 The only record found of weight increments in a big bear is that of an Alaskan brown bear (Ursus a. gyas) taken May 24, 1901, near Douglas settlement, at the western entrance to Cook Inlet, when probably about 3 1/2 months old. It was kept in the National Zoological Park, Washington, D.C., where its successive weights in pounds, were as follows (Baker, 1912):
May 24, 1901, 18
Jan. 4, 1902, 180
Jan. 15, 1903, 450
Jan. 18, 1904, 625
Jan. 28, 1905, 770
Feb. 28, 1906, 890
March 11, 1907, 970
March 21, 1908, 1,050
March 5, 1909, 960
Jan. 20, 1911, 1,160
Dec. 13, 1911, 1,090
It seemed heaviest about Dec. 1, 1910, but could not then be weighed. The decrease in weight during 1909 resulted from removal of extensive "corns" from all the feat on June 15, 1908, which crippled the animal for some time. Since bears confined in public parks usually receive much supplemental food from visitors and have limited opportunity for exercise, the gains in weight of bears in their native environments may not be comparable.
Male Kodiak Bears probably average around 850 pounds or so; possibly larger...meaning they are probably a decent bit larger then the California Grizzly on average.