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Idaho Fish & Game
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Shoulder Hump - Bear Identification Program

Friday, March 24, 2017 

Grizzly bears have well-developed shoulder muscles for digging and turning over rocks. These muscles appear as a prominent shoulder hump.

Black bears lack the well-developed shoulder muscles and therefore do not have the shoulder hump.

Caution: The bear's position can affect your ability to see the hump. For example, a black bear may appear to have a hump if it’s standing on a rock or log. A grizzly bear’s hump may not be obvious if its head is raised above shoulder level.
Last Updated: February 13, 2012 
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