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12 Canada Bear Attack Statistics & Facts to Know in 2023: How Many Attacks Happen Every Year?

angry grizzly bear in attack mode

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Because of their large bodies and terrifying teeth, bears can fatally harm humans with minimal effort. Luckily, most bears stick to themselves and don’t bother humans unless provoked. Of course, there’s the rare instance of a solitary bear going rogue, but most bears only attack when threatened.

Because of how many bears there are in Canada, you would think there are many attacks, but this is not the case either. To learn about how many bear attacks happen in Canada every year, keep reading. This article covers the top 12 statistics to know about Canada’s bear attacks, which include:

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12 Canada Bear Attack Statistics

  1. Bear attacks are increasing yearly.
  2. About 40 bear attacks happen worldwide every year.
  3. North America only sees about 11 bear attacks each year.
  4. There usually isn’t even one bear attack in Canada every year.
  5. The grizzly bear is the most dangerous bear.
  6. Grizzly bear attacks are responsible for 1 to 2 deaths in North America per year.
  7. Black bears are the second most dangerous bear type.
  8. Black bear attacks are responsible for about one death per year in North America.
  9. Only about 2 to 5 people die from bear attacks in North America per year.
  10. About 14% of bear attacks are fatal.
  11. Most fatal bear attacks are by provoked wild bears.
  12. The odds of being attacked by a wild bear are 1 in 2.1 million.
canada bear attack graphics
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How Many Bear Attacks Are There Per Year?

1. Bear attacks are increasing yearly.

(Journal of Wildlife Management)

Although bear attacks are not extremely common, they are increasing. Most experts predict that loss of habitat forces bears to cross paths with humans more and more often, increasing the chances of bear attacks.

bears in nature park
Image Credit: Mattias1957, Pixabay

2. About 40 bear attacks happen worldwide every year.

(Cowboy State Daily)

Across the entire world, there are around 40 bear attacks. Most of these bear attacks happen in the east, including countries like Russia, Turkey, and Iran. The second continent with the most amount of bear attacks is Europe.


3. North America only sees about 11 bear attacks each year.

(Cowboy State Daily)

Surprisingly, North America only has about 11 bear attacks every year. Most of these bear attacks happen in Mexico. After Mexico, the United States and Canada follow.


4. There usually isn’t even one bear attack in Canada every year.

(Wise About Bears)

Surprisingly, there are very few bear attacks in Canada. There is often less than one every year. For example, there have only been four fatal bear attacks in Ontario over the last 100 years. Because of these numbers, it’s more likely to die from a dog attack than a bear attack in Canada.

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How Many Grizzly Bear Attacks Per Year?

5. The grizzly bear is the most dangerous bear.

(Post-Gazette)

The grizzly bear is the most dangerous type of bear based on human fatalities. In North America alone, grizzly bears or brown bears are responsible for 70 deaths.

Grizzly bear sniffing around debris
Image Credit: JillWellington, Pixabay

6. Grizzly bear attacks are responsible for 1 to 2 deaths in North America per year.

(Nature.com)

On average, grizzly bear attacks are responsible for killing 1.6 people in North America every year. To put that in perspective, anywhere from 30 to 50 people are killed in the United States by dogs.

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How Many Black Bear Attacks Per Year?

7. Black Bears are the second most dangerous bear type.

(Post-Gazette)

After grizzly bears, black bears are the second most dangerous type of bear. They have been responsible for about 54 deaths since 1970 in North America.

The fact that there is so many black bear attacks is mainly because of how common they are around humans. Black bears are found all around North America, and they’re more likely to be around you than grizzly bears.

As a result, the sheer prevalence of black bears make them more likely to attack you than polar bears, but they are generally much more defensive and less likely to attack than grizzly bears and polar bears, which explains why they aren’t numbered one.


8. Black Bear attacks are responsible for about one death per year in North America.

(Wide Open Spaces)

Whereas grizzly bears are responsible for killing 1.6 people in North America every year, black bears are responsible for killing about 1.25 people per year. This goes to show that black bears are still dangerous but not quite as deadly as grizzly bears.

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How Many People Are Killed by Bears Each Year?

9. Only about 2 to 5 people die from bear attacks in North America per year.

(The Alaska Life)

Fatality rates from bear attacks are relatively low. In North America, only 2 to 5 people die from bear attacks every year.

polar bear in zoo
Image Credit: NolaP, Pixabay

10. Only about 14% of bear attacks are fatal.

(Pet Pedia)

If you do the math about how many bear attacks there are and how many end up in death, only about 14% of bear attacks are fatal. Though the rest may lead to serious injury, they don’t lead to death.


11. Most fatal bear attacks are by provoked wild bears.

(ADN)

Bear attacks can happen in the wild or in captivity, but most of the fatal attacks are provoked by wild bears. Most fatal attacks involve lone predatory bears that do not follow their natural hunting instincts.

More so, most wild bears that attack only attack once provoked. What this means is that victims of bear attacks often instigate or provoke the bear, which causes the animal to attack. Very few bears attack randomly.

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What Are the Odds of Being Attacked by A Bear?

12. The odds of being attacked by a wild bear are 1 in 2.1 million.

(National Geographic)

If you are afraid of being attacked by a wild bear, the chances of it happening are not high. According to National Geographic, the chances of being attacked by a wild bear are one in 2.1 million. This means it’s more likely to be killed by a bee than a bear.

Brown bear growling at something
Image Credit: Pixel-mixer, Pixabay

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Frequently Asked Questions About Canada Bear Attack

How many people die from bear attacks?

It is difficult to know the precise number of how many people died from bear attacks, but it is estimated that only about 180 deaths have happened in North America due to bear attacks since the late 1700s.

(History.com)

How many bears are killed each year?

Whenever a bear attacks a human, they are typically put down because they are more likely to attack a human in the future. Additionally, other bears are killed due to sport hunting.

It is estimated that about 50,000 black bears are legally hunted each year in North America alone. Hundreds are also euthanized. These numbers do not even include illegally hunted bears and euthanized histories of other bear types, which aren’t recorded as thoroughly.

(Insider)

(Coloradoan)

How do you survive a bear attack?

How you should handle a bear attack depends on the bear type. If it’s a brown bear, you should lie down and play dead. If it’s a black bear, you should fight back. Here is a quick jingle to remember how to survive a bear attack: If it’s brown, lie down. If it’s black, fight back.

The reason you approach these two different attacks differently is due to the size and nature of the bear. Grizzly bears are much more likely to take on a fight, and they are more aggressive. You are not going to win a grizzly bear fight as a result. Lie down, and they may go away.

In comparison, black bears are much more defensive and will run away if they are frightened. If you make yourself look bigger than the bear and fight back, it will likely just run away.

(Art of Manliness)

angry bear
Image Credit: darrenquigley32, Pixabay

What country has the most reported bear attacks?

Russia is home to the largest number of grizzly bears and bear attacks.

(Nature.com)

How frequent are bear attacks?

Bear attacks are not frequent at all. The chances of being attacked by a bear are 1 in 2.1 million. The frequency may even decrease depending on where you are in the world, such as on the Appalachian Trail.

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Conclusion

Bears are certainly not animals you should mess with, but the chances of being attacked by one are not very likely. Mosquitoes, humans, and snakes are much more likely than bears to kill a person. In fact, bears don’t even make it on the top ten list of most dangerous animals.

If you provoke a bear, expect it to fight back, though. Because these animals are so large and potentially dangerous, it’s important that you treat them with respect and leave them unprovoked.

If you happen to find yourself facing a bear, remember the jingle mentioned earlier: If it’s brown, lie down. If it’s black, fight back. Hopefully, you never find yourself needing to remember the rhyme!


Featured Image Credit: outdoorsman, Shutterstock

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