Marsican Brown Bear

The Marsican brown bear (ursus arctos marsicanus) is an endemic-of-the-central-Apennines subspecies of the brown bear (ursus arctos). It is the living symbol of Abruzzo and of the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise.

Though they are smaller than brown bear, the Marsican he-bears weigh from 95 to 150 kg and reach a standing height of 180-190 cm, while the she-bears are smaller. It is the biggest carnivore in Italy, even though it is omnivore. After a gestation of about 6 months, the she-bear gives birth to 2-3 cubs as usual every 4 years. In winter the bear goes into hibernation.

Today the Marsican brown bear is highly threaten with extinction. A population of just 50-70 bears is left, the most of them living in Abruzzo. Attacks by Marsican bears to the man have never been reported, while unfortunately it often happens the contrary. The survival of this wonderful wild animal of Abruzzo mountains and national parks is threatened by human activities (intensive livestock farming and tourism), poaching, poisoning and ordinary ignorance. The respect for the bear must be complete if we want to save it from extinction.

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