Do Bears Eat Coyotes? (Answered & Explained)


Coyotes physically look similar to wolves, but we can say that coyotes are cousins of wolves. When these species were discovered, they were named prairie wolves. But coyotes are different specie than wolves. They are normally found in North America and southern areas of Canada.

In North America, bears and coyotes have the same habitat. Bears and coyotes are also fighting with each other. According to researchers, bears and coyotes are natural enemies, and their fight always ends with blood. But the topic is “do bears eat coyotes?”. So, here is the answer. 

Yes, bears eat coyotes. Coyotes are not the main diet of bears. Bears always consider the coyotes their competitors. Bears are opportunistic animals, and they eat food that is easy to get. They always avoid spending a lot of energy on hunting; for this reason, they do not eat and hunt coyotes on a daily basis.  

In this blog, we will cover all the relationships between these two species. Like, what species of bears eat coyotes? How do bears hunt coyotes? And some other knowledgeable facts.

How Many Species Of Bears Eat Coyotes?

Grizzly Bear:

Grizzly Bear

One of the top predators on the earth is the grizzly bear, also known as the brown bear in North America. Grizzly and brown bears are the same species, but only geographical location makes a difference between them. Grizzly bears eat both plants and animals.

Their height can be 8 feet, and their weight is up to 700 lbs. Their diet normally consists of plants. But, when there is a shortage of food, they will eat anything they find. So, if they have a chance to hunt and eat coyotes, they will do it with no hesitation.

However, bears do not go after coyotes all the time, but if coyotes try to steal bear food, then bears will hunt coyotes. Sometimes, bears hunt them to protect their cubs. Normally, bears attack large animals like moose, deer and elk.

Grizzly bears are polite and peaceful animals, but if someone attacks their cubs, they become dangerous to their opponents. Grizzly bears are very apex predators, and they have no natural predators. 

Black Bears:

Black Bears

Yes, black bears eat coyotes. But, their main diet does not come from animals. Only 5% of their diet comes from animals. In easy words, black bears rarely hunt and eat coyotes. 

Black bears are also known to eat voles, squirrels, beavers and bobcats. Sometimes, they also eat wolves. Their diet depends on the location and season, but normally 80% of their diet comes from plants. 

Black bears are very shy animals. They do not seem to show aggression. If they feel threatened, they only run or climb up the trees. 

Can Bears Eat Dead Coyotes?

Bears are known to be opportunistic animals. That means if they get an opportunity to eat food, they will happily take it. So, if bears get a chance to eat dead coyotes, then they will not miss it. If the dead body is fresh, then they surely will eat it. 

Bears have an outstanding sense of smell. This special talent makes bears very dangerous predators. They have the ability to smell food from more than a mile away. According to some research, their receptors smell 100 times better than humans. 

Bears also hunt animals in the wild and then eat them. But, sometimes, they use their strength to steal food from other predators. 

How Do Bears Attack And Eat Coyotes?

Some people think bears are bad hunters and do not run fast. But these thoughts are not true. Although bears have a high weight, and they are very good hunters.  

Grizzly bears have the ability to run 35 miles per hour. The coyotes also run at 35 miles per hour. Still, coyotes are lightweight animals, so they run longer distances compared to bears. 

A bear always hunts the coyote by grabbing it by its back. When a bear catches a coyote, it starts eating it alive. Bears always use their big and strong claws to tear apart the coyote’s body. Their one strike with claws is enough to take down the big animals than coyotes. 

Although we early said that bears are opportunists animals and always find an easy way to get food. Coyotes are very fast animals. Their hunt is difficult. By the way, coyotes do not come as the bear’s main source of food.

Can Coyotes Eat Bears?

Coyotes are not as dangerous as compare to bears. But, if they get a chance to kill the bear’s cubs, they will do it. Many times, coyotes grab the cubs when the mother is sleeping. Coyotes are carnivorous animals, so they always look for meat. 

According to research, coyotes mostly eat American black bear cubs. Besides coyotes, their cubs have other predators, such as eagles, wolves, bobcats, and bears. 

Other Animals That Eat Coyotes?

Mountain Lions:

Mountain lions are the top predator of America. They are 8 feet tall, and their weight can be 136 lbs. They live in remote areas and high forests. They normally hunt small animals such as deer and rodents. Mountain lions also hunt and eat coyotes.


Wolves are the cousin of coyotes. They are 7 feet tall, and their weight can be 40 to 175 pounds. They live in North America, and they find in forest areas. They always hunt in packs like coyotes. Coyotes are not included in their diet, but wolves will kill them to lower the food competition. 

American Alligators:

American alligators come to the list of large predators. They are 15 feet tall, and their weight can be 1000 pounds. They live in the waterways of Florida, Texas and other states. 

They normally hunt small mammals such as snakes, fish and turtles. Alligators are opportunist animals, and they will hunt anything that comes to their radar, and that also includes humans and coyotes. 


Bears are dangerous and large predators on land. All kinds of bears do not hunt coyotes, but grizzly and black bears hunt them. However, coyotes do not come in the most favourite diet of bears.

Sometimes, bears kill coyotes by defending their cubs. Also, when the shortage of food comes, then bears eat coyotes. 


What are the top predators of coyotes?

Mountain lions, wolves and American alligators come in a list of coyote predators. Although bears such as grizzly and black bears also eat coyotes. 

What are the top predators of bears?

Tigers, wolves, bobcats and humans have come in a list of bears predators. Although coyotes also come on the list, they only kill bear cubs. 



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