What Eats Bears In the Wild? (List of Bear Predators)

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

There’s rarely an animal that dares to hunt the dangerous and aggressive bear.

It stands to reason bears lead the natural food chain, and it is the king of their habitats. They confront and attack anything or anyone that acts as a threat.

However, you may be surprised to know that some animals are brave enough to hunt and eat a mature bear. Are you curious about what eats bears?

We’ll satisfy your curiosity by providing some lookout on what can eat or kill such a fierce animal.

What Eats Bears?

what eats bears

What eats bears? The top enemies that can attack and eat bears include tigers, wolves, coyotes, cougars, scavengers, vultures, and even humans.

The list of creatures that attack and feast on this mammal is relatively short.

Indeed, you’ll notice that only carnivores and apex predators are bold and robust enough to join such a risky hunt.

However, it can depend on the animal’s physical size, where it inhabits, and the bear species. Here are the top seven enemies of a bear.


Tigers are present on almost any list of predators catching and eating other animals. Creatures in the wild have to fear tigers, and so do bears.

Some people may say mountain lions or wolverines can replace tigers and become dominant hunters in the wild.

However, it depends on the circumstances. Though wolverines are dangerous to human, they only prey on those mammals in particular situations.

Only animals with excellent ambushing skills and superior strength can confront and knock out a mature aggressive bear.

Tigers deserve the title king of the jungle with a sophisticated predating skill set.

They can overpower any creature, including a large bear, though they barely attack this mammal.

The reason tigers hesitate to attack it many times is that they don’t find it an equal match.

They’re confident that their strength and skills are on the next level. A fight with a giant mammal is not worth the effort and risk for them.

Nevertheless, this case doesn’t often occur in Asia. Because tigers grow rapidly in Asia, they will eat medium- or small-sized bears during food shortages.


Many debates arise to determine if wolves feast on bears or not. There are loads of guides, hunters, and trappers claiming to have encountered bear fur among wolf droppings.

Some research also suggests that this mammal tends to run away, panicking when they find wolves around.

Plus, there are many documented cases where wolves attack the mammals in their habitat. All of these speak volumes for the fact that wolves prey on bears.

Outnumbering is a big advantage when it comes to survival in the wild. Thus, people rarely find wolves going anywhere alone.

They often hunt in large groups ̣(also called packs”) to confidently pounce and knock out a bear if they run into one in their hang.

They also take advantage of the large groups to overwhelm and exhaust this mammal until it gives in and fails to stand the fight.

A single wolf will never choose to take the risk of chasing a bear, except it is too hungry. Thus, this case often happens when food deprivation starts to be a problem during the wintertime.


The special thing about this predator is that it scarcely attacks other creatures.

Though coyotes will sometimes exercise their hunting skills, they prefer dead prey on which they can scavenge the remains.

They’d rather use their energy to catch smaller creatures, such as rodents, deers, and rabbits.

Coyotes can appear as a threat to bear cubs only when several animals combine to attack.

One adult coyote never risks its safety fighting with a giant mammal, except it’s nearly dead or suffering a severe wound.


Cougars are a sizable cat species predominantly present in America and mountainous regions, where you can also find many bear species, particularly the Grizzly.

When it comes to what eats grizzly bears, bobcats must be the first name to think of. They are wild animals slightly smaller than cougars.

These two animals are fond of a meat-based diet since they’re carnivores. They’ll eat any creature in their territory, including the giant bear.

Because wildcats rank in a lower position than bears in the natural food chain, they barely choose to attack those mammals.

Cougars will look for bear cups to satisfy their hunger rather than adult ones during food deprivation. And they often focus on cubs that get lost from the mother and are not well-covered.

A mother mammal is strong and fast enough to gain ground over a cougar, but it may be too late once the cougar attacks swiftly.

Read more: Do Cougars Make Good Pets?


Scavengers are not the direct predators, but they will gladly enjoy a dead animal.

Hunters are, of course, more into fresh meat; so are scavengers. Thus, many eaters will choose animals whose deaths are due to natural causes.

Sometimes, they search for wounded creatures and wait until they pass away.



Like other scavengers, vultures don’t make good pets as they hunt on weak animals and will likely wait for a mammal to get injured after a fight to attack it.

Crippled or injured animals are always more susceptible to pounces from other creatures. In this game, patience is everything that matters.

It wins if a vulture is patient enough to wait until the mammal is defenseless.

This scenario is common in nature. But it’s also hard to find a chance when an animal gets severely injured after a fight before.

Because vultures can’t beat such a strong opponent, they will happily enjoy the remains when there’s an opportunity to do that safely.


It’s not far-stretched to say that humans are the top enemy of nature. They can hunt any wild animal and have dramatically reduced the populations of many creatures, including bears.

People catch these mammals for several purposes, such as food, organs, pelts, and sports. Some people even keep bears as pets. Notably, many places worldwide eat bear meat.

The sad news is that the evolution of highly effective and accessible weapons has made bear hunting easier over the last decade.

That’s why many organizations throughout the world have sparked conservation efforts to discuss the best strategies to protect these magnificent species.

How Do Bears Defend Themselves?

This animal is one of the most powerful, formidable on Earth, and the top name in the natural food chain because they’re adept at fighting.

They combine different mechanisms when attacking. Thanks to these advantages, though they barely attack, they are also barely the losers.


The first and foremost factor determining this mammal’s power is that they’re incredibly massive.

The extraordinary size makes it unapproachable and intimidating.

This video includes information about the ten largest bears worldwide and their physical sizes. Take a watch to see how big they are:

Physical Strengths

Some may say ‘size is not all.’ Yes, but this mammal does not only have a massive size. It also possesses two fantastic weapons to confront any opponent: teeth and claws.

Among animals with claws, a Grizzly’s front claws are incredibly long and can grow up to four inches – approximately equal to a person’s finger.

These claws and the superb speed of an animal’s strike can lead to devastating results.

Besides, this mammal has an exceedingly robust jaw with large, sharp teeth, which can tear prey and predators apart with ease.

We think many creatures can realize that they never match these strengths and compete with them.


Besides physical advantages, mammals also have an aggressive nature that doesn’t let them kneel down in front of any enemy.

They will stand up, growl loudly, and pound their paws against the ground before swiftly charging whatever gets in their way when threatened or angry.

Related: Do Polar Bears Make Good Pets?


Tigers, wolves, coyotes, cougars, scavengers, vultures, and even humans are predators that can harm bears.

Undoubtedly, bears are creatures with incredible strength, speed, and size.

Irrespective of the specific situation and species, we’ll most likely avoid fighting with one without thinking twice.

That said, there are very few names to list for what eats bears because creatures that are skilled and brave enough to face a bear are scarce.