Bears are solitary animals except for mothers with cubs, and when they are mating. When they mate and reproduce depends heavily on the climate where they live; bears in colder climates tend to mate in spring or summer and cubs are born during the winter.
Age of sexual maturity and reproduction rates vary among bear species, it depends upon how much food is available where the mother lives. On average, bears breed and produce two cubs every one to three years with a range of one to six cubs in a litter.
Similar to big cats, bear cubs are born blind and without hair and are entirely dependent upon the mother. Young rely on their mother for one and a half to three years depending on the species until the mother bear goes into estrus and mates again, at which time the young are on their own.
Adult bears can reach sexual maturity anywhere from three to eights years and can live 25 years in the wild.
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These bears reach sexual maturity at around five years of age. They mate in the summer though the embryo doesn’t implant until the winter.
Females will generally have two cubs in a litter, and they will stay with their mother until they are about two years old. Grizzlies can live up to 25 years in the wild. Learn more facts about grizzlies here.
These animals breed between four and seven years of age and normally pair up to mate during March to October. Cubs are born blind like other bears and stay with their mother for a year or more. They are estimated to live for more than 20 years in the wild. Learn more facts about spectacled bears here.
Female pandas can begin breeding between four and eight years of age. They normally mate between March and May each year and the females are pregnant between 95 and 160 days.
Females will have one to two cubs though usually only one survives. The cub will live with its mother for one and a half to two years before becoming independent. How long they live in the wild is not known. Learn more facts about giant pandas here.
Females reach sexual maturity around the age of four to five years and males at about four. These bears normally mate between April and May on the sea ice. Females are known to mate with several males and litters can have different fathers. Mating can take as long as a week and the couple then separates.
Once pregnant, the female will dramatically increase her size, sometimes as much as doubling her weight to be able to have the energy for pregnancy. The cubs are born between November and February and will stay with their mother until they reach about two years of age. Polar bears can live up to 25 years in the wild. Learn more about polar bears here.
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