Can You Buy a Grizzly Bear? | 6 States to Legally Own One!

Perhaps, you do fancy having large wild animals as pets. And if you love bears, particularly grizzlies, you might want to get one. However, is it legal to own one?

In general, No! It’s illegal to buy or own a grizzly bear in the United States.

What’s more, grizzly bears aren’t pet material. They can’t be tamed as it’s in their nature to be aggressive and wild. However,  WWF still makes it possible for people to symbolically adopt grizzly bears.

Surprisingly, not all are against buying bears in general. And some states still allow it! 

However, it depends on the bear species living in such states. So let’s see if there are states that allow you to own grizzlies. 

Keep reading below… 

Table of Contents

What States Can You Own a Grizzly Bear?

No state with grizzly bears in North America allows you to keep them as pets. In the US, the native states of grizzlies include:

  • Alaska
  • Wyoming 
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Washington 

They have rules against owning exotic and wild animals. And grizzlies aren’t exceptions to these rules. 

Grizzlies are exotic and are more suited to their natural habitat. They also aren’t domesticated species and are not fit for pets. This is why these states ban the ownership of pet grizzlies.

In contrast, having grizzlies as pets would be possible if they were native to US states like:

  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • Wisconsin
  • Alabama
  • NorthCarolina
  • South Carolina 

These US states allow you to keep bears as pets. And black bears are the bear species in these states.

Generally, it’s illegal to sell grizzly bear parts in most American states. However, some places allow it under certain conditions.

Alaska is where you’ll mostly find grizzly bears in the US. There, you’ll need a permit to sell trophies (parts) of animals that are considered big games. 

This applies to grizzly bears since they are big game animals. This permit comes from Alaska’s Fish and Game Department. 

And without it, the trade of grizzly bear parts is illegal in this state. It doesn’t even matter if the grizzly bear was killed in another state or country.

Furthermore, grizzly bear trophies are the parts obtained from a successful grizzly bear hunt. They include a grizzly bear’s skull, skin (or hide), claws, and teeth. 

Some other trophies include grizzly bear rugs (tanned grizzly bear skins) or any other item made from grizzlies. 

Interestingly, you can own these trophies, but selling them without a permit is illegal. 

How Much is a Grizzly Bear’s Hide Worth?

A Grizzly Bear Hide (Skin Rug)

A quality grizzly bear’ hide (or a grizzly bear skin rug) is worth about $4,000–$6,000. These hides are gotten from skinning grizzlies after a successful hunt. 

Hides are worth so much because they have long-lasting qualities. They are also windproof and very warm. 

What is the most Valuable Part of a Grizzly Bear?

A Bear's Gallbladder

As strange as this sound, the most valuable part of a grizzly bear is its gallbladder (or bile). This is the same with any other bear.

It’s very expensive and worth more than the price of gold in many Asian countries. 

A bear’s gallbladder is in high demand in Asian countries including:

  • China
  • Korea
  • Malaysia
  • Japan
  • Vietnam
  • Thailand
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan

What’s more, unlike other bear trophies, gallbladders are not common in the US market that sells bear parts. 

So why is it the most valuable part of grizzlies then? It’s all because of its medicinal properties! 

Similar to any other bear’s bile, a grizzly bear’s bile alone has true healing effects. This is unlike many ingredients used in traditional Asian medicine. 

And for over 3,000 years now, this gallbladder has been an effective cure for many diseases. Some of them include

  • Eye infections
  • Fever
  • Bile stones
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Liver diseases – liver cancer, viral hepatitis, and fibrosis.

Scientists are looking into bears’ gallbladders. It proves to be an important research sample for future medicine.

Are There Real Grizzly Bear Skulls For Sale?

A Real Grizzly Bear Skull

Yes, there are collections of real grizzly bear skulls displayed for sale in online and offline stores. People buy these skulls for many purposes.

Real bear skulls make great taxidermy displays when you keep them on your desks. It’s perfect for home and office decorations if you love animals.

In addition, many use them as teaching tools. They come in handy in discussions regarding a bear’s feeding habits, taxonomy, ecology, and dentition. 

However, real grizzly bear skulls are not too common in stores. There are more replica grizzly bear skulls out there. 

Still, replica skulls look so much like real bear skulls. And they equally serve the same decorative and educational purposes.

How Much is a Grizzly Bear Hunt?

A Grizzly Bear Hunt

A Grizzly bear hunt costs about $12,000 and up to $20,000 in Alaska. This hunting package includes a well-prepared and highly-regarded hunter or outfitter. 

Presently, Alaska and Yukon are the only two areas in North America where you can legally go hunting grizzlies. 

In addition, a grizzly bear hunt in Alaska happens in areas that are difficult to access. That’s why it’s more expensive than usual. 


To sum up, it’s illegal to buy grizzly bears in the US. Aside from being illegal, it’s dangerous to own grizzly bears as pets. 

They’re naturally wild and aggressive. So you can’t just predict their actions.

Here are a few key things to remember from our article:

  • In Alaska, the trade of grizzly bear parts gotten from a hunt is illegal without a permit.
  • Alaska’s Fish and Wildlife Service issues the permit to sell grizzly bear parts. 
  • Grizzly bear parts obtained from a hunt are called trophies. They include the skull, hide, claws, and teeth.
  • A grizzly bear’s gallbladder is the most valuable part. Though it’s not too common in the US market.
  • Grizzly bear hunts in Alaska are expensive and start at around $12,000.

Owning a grizzly bear might be allowed but they are not the only bears, right?

Come to think of it, pandas are very cute and lovable bears. So can you own them as pets?

Read our article—Can you Buy a Giant Panda as a Pet? —to know if pandas are allowed as pets.