Polar Bear vs. Chimpanzee

My wife and I got into a debate about this the other night, and I’m curious to see what other people think. The scenario is simple: A male polar bear and male chimpanzee, both of average size, are pitting against one another in a battle to the death. Which one walks away, and in what kind of shape?

A few minor caveats:

  1. The battle takes place in an environment neutral to both animals, giving neither any specific advantage or disadvantage.
  2. Through whatever fictional contrivance you prefer, both animals start the fight in a state of blind rage against the other. Neither will cease trying to kill the other under any circumstances (in other words, neither party will retreat).

My take on it is that, while chimps are undoubtedly vicious little bastards more than a match for even most exceptional human beings, the polar bear’s size and strength advantages are just too formidable. The chimp might be able to do some superficial damage, but one solid swat from the bear’s claws is pretty much game over for him. Perhaps a whole troop of chimps vs. a polar bear might be a better match?

I assure you there will be little left of the chimp;).

Chimps weight around 150 lbs. Polar bears weight up to 1500 lbs. There wouldn’t be anything left of the chimp unless the polar bear wanted a play toy.

Chimp has no chance. Compared to the polar bear the chimp would seem no more formidable than a human.

Well, you can hardly be expected to be objective on this subject, can you?

I know people who live, or have lived, beyond the Arctic Circle. I am assured by them that polar bears are basically homicidal maniacs and will kill anything that crosses their path.

Give the chimp a chainsaw?

This. The size difference is just massive. Apart from the weight difference a Polar Bear is 8 foot tall on average where a Chimp is around 5’6". The only way the Chimp would kill the Polar Bear is if it got stuck in his throat and he choked.

A Silverback Gorilla would stand a better chance, weighing up to 400 pounds he’d still be giving away significant height and weight but may have a chance just on pure strength. If he managed to avoid the claws and get the bear in a headlock he could probably snap its neck before it had a chance to tear him to shreds.

A gorilla would only last a little longer than the chimp. Polar bears can kill adult walruses twice their size.

I believe grizzly bears prevail in encounters with polar bears, because the grizzlies are more aggressive.

Walruses have no arms or legs. Size alone is not worth a whole lot if it can’t be brought to bear.

(Emphasis mine)
:slight_smile: Let the bear/monkey/ape puns begin.

I think it’s pretty clear that a polar bear vs 1 chimp would win. Perhaps the more interesting question is 1 polar bear vs half a dozen chimps.

They are surprisingly mobile, and have deadly tusks. A gorilla’s teeth couldn’t do anything to a polar bear, and it’s not big enough or strong enough to do inflict any damage with his arms or legs.

I’m not sure I wouldn’t still bet on the polar bear… give it a chainsaw and a sniper rifle… just to be safe.

I bet the chimp would a least end up with a pair of nuts.

Only if it is REALLY good at rolling 20-sided dice…

Not so sure about that.

The Bear has the advantage in height and weight as well as it’s claws.

The Gorilla is theoretically strong enough to pick the bear up and throw it off a cliff or break the bears neck, provided it could largely avoid the claws.

The smart money would still be on the bear because it’s a natural killer whereas the Gorilla is naturally peaceful, but if the gorilla was wound up, the bear wouldn’t have an easy time of it.

I sure hope there aren’t any deranged zookeepers reading this thread…

is the chimp learned in the ways of the martial arts?

The bear prevails by an absurd margin.

In addition to huge size, strength and weaponry advantages, there’s the fact that bear kills something for every meal, whereas the chimp only rarely does.

I find it doubtful that a gorilla can pick up a live enraged polar bear. I’m not sure he could even pick up a dead one.