Area of zoo
Enclosure status
IUCN status
Least Concern
Scientific name
Ursus arctos
North America, Europe and Asia
Mountain woodland

Brown bear facts

European brown bear Cinderella in the long grass with trees in the background at Whipsnade Zoo

Are there European brown bears at Whipsnade Zoo? 

Whipsnade Zoo is home to four European brown bears. Cinderella was joined by Mana, Minion and Naya in April 2023. Sisters Mana and Minion, who are four-years-old, have moved to the UK’s largest zoo with one-year-old Naya, from Orsa Predator Park in Sweden. Over winter, our bears are in torpor in their back dens, but they'll become more active again in the spring. 

European brown bear Mana in the pool playing with an orange ball


What do European brown bears look like? 

European brown bears are one of the largest species of bear. As the name indicates, they are covered in brown fur, with the colours varying from a yellow brown to a dark brown. The bears are equipped with large paws, and claws that can grow up to 10cm long! 

What do European brown bears eat?

A European brown bear’s diet is made up of a mixture of grasses, berries, sedges, fungi, mosses, nuts, fruit, honey, insects, birds and fish.

What threats do European brown bears face in the wild? 

While European brown bears are recognised as Least Concern on the IUCN red list, the threats they face include hunting and habitat loss. 

A European brown bear playing with a tube at Whipsnade Zoo

Visit Whipsnade Zoo

Whipsnade Zoo newsletter
Get the latest updates about exciting animal news from the Zoos, upcoming events, experiences, offers