The grizzly bear is a symbol of rugged wilderness. When we think of the grizzly, cold rivers, mountains and dense forests come to mind. However -- though it is not well known -- grizzlies are a plains species that had a population of around 6,000 that once roamed the prairies, and they behave accordingly. This means that they often stand and challenge instead of running for cover. Nor can their cubs climb trees like the smaller black bear. Even so, most bears would avoid contact with people if they could.