Atlas Bear (Ursus arctos crowtheri)
The Atlas Bear was the only bear species endemic to the African continent to exist into modern times. The bear’s native habitat was the Atlas range of mountains between Morocco and Libya.
This brown bear is described as being brownish black in color with a reddish belly. It could reach a length of nine feet and weigh up to 1000 pounds.
The expansion of the Roman empire is a likely contributor to the decline of the Atlas Bear with 1000s of them being killed in hunts and captured for killing in public games and executions. Their extinction occurred shortly after the invention of modern firearms.
The last recorded kill of the bear in the wild occurred in the Tetouan Mountains of northern Morocco in 1870.