You are here:

Interspecies Conflict/polar bear vs giraffe


Hello BK

Who would win in a fight between a polar bear and a giraffe?


Hello Brad.

Polar bears are very powerful predators, and are the largest land-based carnivore (along with the Kodiak bear).  They have longer, more streamlined bodies than other bears.  They hunt walruses, begula whales, seals, muskox, and caribou.  Their great strength enables them to wrestle with large prey (like walruses heavier than themselves), easily snatch 500lb seals out of the water, and use their bodies like a giant piledriver to bust holes through thick sheets of ice.  As all bears, they have good endurance.

Giraffes are the tallest land animals, sometimes reaching over 18ft in height.  They are peaceful animals, but they are capable of defending themselves against predators (like lions and hyenas) with very strong kicks.  Even groups of lions have failed to bring down one of these giants on a hunt, and many lions have been injured by the giraffe as it defended itself.

Polar bears aren't accustomed to dealing with large, mobile prey the size of a giraffe.  The giraffe weighs over twice as much as the polar bear.  While the polar bear probably has the strength to grab onto a giraffe and eventually pull it down, any attempt to do so will put in right in the range of the giraffe's kicks.  A giraffe's kick is strong enough to injure a bear, and the bear isn't mobile enough to avoid being a target if it gets close.  The bear's paw swipes probably won't reach any vital areas. A direct hit on the giraffe's leg might wobble it, but the likelihood of that kind of precision is low.  I would favor a bear against an equal-weight giraffe, but not one twice as heavy.

Best regards.  

Interspecies Conflict

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Questions regarding animal conflicts within realistic or unrealistic settings are welcome; my strength lies in medium-to-large species. Small animals (including birds of prey), prehistoric animals, sea creatures, and domestic dog breeds are usually within my scope, but to a lesser degree. I can't confidently answer hypothetical questions about human vs animal, arachnids, insects, or amphibians, but I am willing to field them nonetheless.


From a young age, I have been interested in animals. Starting with the original Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and World Book Encyclopedias, I have seen many animal shows and documentaries and have read multiple books on the subject. I have a solid understanding of the physiology of many animals and interspecies conflict in general.

Associate degree in unrelated field; biology classes in college.

©2016 All rights reserved.