Kodiak bears and gorillas are two very tough animals that inspire awe in those who see them. Both of them are easy to identify and both are dangerous in their own way, especially if you get on their bad side.
Looking at these two powerful creatures, it isn’t hard to wonder who would win in a fight between a Kodiak bear and a gorilla – whether it be the largest eastern or a western one.
Unfortunately, these two beasts can’t meet in person since Kodiak bears are almost exclusively found on the islands in the Kodiak Archipelago in Alaska, and have been isolated from gorillas and other bears for about 12,000 years.
Still, let’s use all the available knowledge and analyze what would happen if a Kodiak bear and a gorilla were to get in a fight.
Comparing A Kodiak Bear And A Gorilla
|Size||– Height: 10 ft on hind legs (5 ft on all four)|
– Weight: 1,000-1,500 lb
– Length: 8 ft
|– Height: 6 ft on hind legs (5 ft 6 in on all four)|
– Weight: 300-500 lb
– Length: 5.9-7.2 ft
|Speed And Movement||30-40 mph||25 mph|
|Teeth And Biting Strength||930 PSI||1300 PSI|
|Senses||– Excellent sense of smell|
– Human-like hearing
– Human-like eyesight (color vision)
|– Human-like sense of smell|
– Human-like hearing
– Human-like eyesight (color vision)
|Defensive Powers||– Thick fur and skin|
– Thick skull
|– Dense bones|
– Agility and speed
|Offensive Powers||– Powerful claws|
– Sharp teeth
– Brute force
|– Excellent Strength|
– Sharp teeth
– Strong punches
– Intelligence and use of tools
Physical Features Of A Kodiak Bear And A Gorilla
To determine the winner of this duel, we will take into consideration several factors. We will compare the sizes between a Kodiak bear and a gorilla, their agility and movement capabilities, their brute strength, and offensive and defensive capabilities.
Kodiak Bear Vs Gorilla: Size
Kodiak bears are the largest bears in the world. They are known to stand over 10 feet tall on their back legs, and about 5 ft when on all four. They also weigh around 1200 lbs on average.
Gorillas are significantly smaller and lighter than Kodiak bears; they can reach around 6 ft when on their hind legs and weigh between 300 and 500 lbs.
The largest Kodiak bear ever recorded was one from a Dakota Zoo and weighed 2,130 pounds. The largest gorilla ever was an eastern lowland gorilla from St. Louis Zoo that weighed 860 pounds.
When it comes to sheer size, Kodiak bears have an advantage in a fight as they are a lot bigger than gorillas, almost 3 times.
Kodiak Bear Vs Gorilla: Speed and Movement
Despite their huge size, Kodiak bears are also very fast animals. In short distances, they can have short bursts of high-speed runs of up to 40 mph to catch their prey. That’s similar to a llama’s top speed, by the way.
Gorillas, just like bears, run on all fours and can reach speeds of up to 25 mph. They move around by knuckle-walking – they put their weight on the knuckles, rather than on palms.
When it comes to movement and agility, an animal with more fast-twitch muscle fibers (type II) is more swift to react and more agile. Gorillas have more fast-twitch fibers than bears and would be better at, for example jumping.
However, if they were to fight in the water, a bear would win easily – despite their size, Kodiak bears are excellent swimmers, while gorillas are very poor at swimming.
Kodiak bears can charge faster than gorillas, but gorillas have the advantage of being a lot more agile.
Kodiak Bear Vs Gorilla: Pure Strength
Taking into consideration their size, Kodiak bears and gorillas are both very strong animals. And those fast-twitch muscles are not just for agility, they also produce sudden bursts of energy, like when striking punches.
As we mentioned, gorillas have a lot more fast-twitch fibers than Kodiak bears – in simple terms, they would allow gorillas to generate a huge power in a single punch when trying to KO their rival.
When it comes to pound-for-pound strength, gorillas are exceptionally strong. According to the Guinness Book of Records, one silverback gorilla managed to lift 1800 lbs of weight.
Technically speaking, that huge silverback gorilla would be able to lift an average Kodiak bear and maybe throw it or even punch it. However, the Kodiak bear is so much bigger than a gorilla, that its strength doesn’t matter.
If they had equal weight, a gorilla would be 2-3 times stronger than a Kodiak bear. However, given how bigger bears are than gorillas, Kodiaks take advantage when it comes to overall strength.
Kodiak Bear Vs Gorilla: Bite Power and Teeth
Gorillas have long and sharp canines to cut, rip, and tear tree bark, or their enemies. These fang-looking teeth can grow up to 2 inches long. Gorillas have, just like humans, 32 teeth. They have a biting force of around 1300 PSI.
Kodiak bears, just like other bears, have 42 teeth. They have slightly longer canine teeth size to gorillas (around 2.5 inches long) but produce less bite force. Kodiak bears have a biting power of 930 PSI.
When it comes to biting power, gorillas have a slight advantage. When it comes to teeth sharpness and number, Kodiak bears have superiority.
Kodiak Bear Vs Gorilla: Senses
Kodiak bears rely mostly on their sense of smell- it is better than that of a dog. Their eyesight and hearing are comparable to human ones.
Gorillas have similar senses to humans, including hearing, sight (they seem to be slightly nearsighted and to have color vision), and smell.
Kodiak bears have an advantage when it comes to senses.
Kodiak Bear Vs Gorilla: Physical Defenses
Kodiak bears have very thick fur and a huge layer of fat (up to 9 inches) to protect them from impact. They also have very thick skulls.
Gorillas, on the other hand, have lots of muscle (around 40% of their body weight is muscles) and very dense bones – this might come in handy with reducing a bear hit impact.
Bears also rely on their size to scare off their opponents; a gorilla has 3 times less weight than Kodiak bears.
When it comes to physical defense, Kodiak bears win over gorillas.
Combat Skills Of A Kodiak Bear And A Gorilla
To hunt their prey, Kodiak bears will charge at it and grab it by the back and neck. They are known to stalk silently their prey for hours, incapacitate it using their powerful paws and long claws, and even break its spine. They have claws that can grow up to 5.9 inches long.
The main offensive weapon of a gorilla is its supernatural strength. They will charge at their enemy, grab their limbs, and crush them. They will also use their sharp canine teeth to bite and penetrate the flesh of another animal. They might also use weapons such as sticks or rocks.
A gorilla has enough manual dexterity and more than enough strength to break the limbs, jaw, or even the skull of a Kodiak bear. If it managed to land a well-placed blow to a Kodiak bear’s head, it might have a chance of winning this duel. This is if we assume that the gorilla isn’t torn to shreds by a Kodiak bear’s claws.
What Are Key Differences Between a Kodiak Bear And A Gorilla?
Kodiak bears are a lot bigger animals than gorillas. They are almost 3 times heavier than these apes and a lot taller. Kodiak bears are exclusively found on Kodiak Island, off the coast of Alaska. Gorillas live in lowland tropical rainforests of Central Africa.
Kodiak bears are omnivores and will occasionally hunt other mammals. Gorillas are all herbivores and mostly feed on stems, bamboo shoots, and fruits. This means that Kodiaks have a lot more experience in bringing down large animals.
Both run and walk on their four legs (quadrupedal animals) and both can walk occasionally on 2 of their legs. These are some of the main differences between Kodiak bears and gorillas.
Who Would Win in a Fight Between a Kodiak Bear And A Gorilla?
A Kodiak bear would win against a gorilla if they were to fight. Kodiaks are almost 3 times bigger than gorillas, have razor-sharp teeth that can easily penetrate gorilla’s skin and have huge claws that can inflict deadly injuries to gorillas.
The Kodiak bear is just too big of a beast for a gorilla to handle. Bears have been known to kill animals much larger than gorillas, like other bears, even bison, and moose. Kodiak bear would overpower and maul the gorilla badly.
This doesn’t mean that gorillas do not stand a chance. Gorillas can absolutely match the strength of a bear twice its size and exceed it by a huge margin. If it could get in a decent position, a gorilla would have enough strength to knock a Kodiak bear unconscious or even shatter its skull. Also, a silverback gorilla, could use its higher intelligence and take advantage of some tools and weapons as strategic advantage against the Kodiak.
There have been cases where leopards hunted and killed silverback gorillas – this wouldn’t happen to a 1,500 lbs bear.
Read More: Siberian Tiger Vs Kodiak Bear – Who Wins?