How Long Do Bears Live?


The average lifespan of a bear depends on the type of bear and whether it was kept in captivity or lived in the wild, but bears can die when they are less than 1 year old or live all the way into their late 30s. Black bears in the wild tend to die much sooner than those in captivity because of the increased risk of death from natural causes, such as flooded dens, starvation and infection from injuries.

The oldest known black bear to die of natural causes in the wild was 39 years old, but bears in captivity often live into their 30s. The life expectancy of polar bears living in the wild is 15 to 18 years.