Bears are animals the Cooper Gang encountered in Canada. They prowl around certain areas of the country, specifically Nunavut Bay and Jean Bison's lumber camp. They served as important assets to some of the gang's missions.
The gang made use of bears when they needed to unlock a fenced-in handcar, which was needed for going after the third iron horse train. Noting the anti-social behavior of bear cubs, Bentley believed that if they were to trap two of them together inside the fence, they would start fighting.
It was up to Murray to accomplish this task. After he did so, the two cubs began fighting as expected. This attracted the attention of the mother bear, who used her tough claws to rip apart the fence and free her cubs. The two cubs then followed their mother back to their cave. This left a remarkable impression on Bentley, who compared this experience to a nature documentary, only more violent.
Wandering around the central area of Bison's logging camp was a bear named Grizzle Face, who Bison's men ignored due to his disabilities: blindness and being practically nerve dead.[notes 1] He was one of the photo targets for Sly's reconnaissance mission. When Sly snapped the photo, Bentley pointed out the slight radio signature being transmitted by the bear. After learning of the bear's disabilities, the gang decided to use him to destroy all of the oil mains in the camp. Grizzle Face still possessed a keen sense of smell and could easily follow the smell of fish. With Bentley's help, Murray was able to lure the bear around and destroy the machines. This was crucial to the gang's quest to acquire an eagle egg for the Lumberjack Games.
All bears featured (except Grizzle Face and the bear cubs) have red eyes.[notes 2] They are very violent, attacking anyone in their sight, and are one of the most powerful enemies in the game, as they are able to kill with only a few hits from their sharp claws.[notes 3] When a bear loses sight of its prey, it will stand on its back legs and let out a few roars before returning to its post.
When not alerted, bears wander around in circles in specific areas of both hubs. They tend to stick to these areas, so if they are led away from them, they will find their way back to them. Two adult bears are seen wandering around a cave near Jean Bison's cabin in Nunavut Bay. One wanders inside the cave, while the other wanders outside near a stream and a bridge, which it constantly crosses. Several bear traps have been set up in both Nunavut Bay and the logging camp, but they are never shown to harm any bears, as they will just wander around them.
The "Bear Cub Kidnapping" mission marks the only appearance of bear cubs. They are harmless in comparison to the adult bears, and they can be hit as well, although that will not kill them. Their small size allows them to be picked up easily by Murray. They do not react to any nearby noise (like Grizzle Face), but when they are attacked, they will (like adult bears) stand upright and roar for a moment. As mentioned by Bentley, bear cubs are known to fight each other, given their anti-social behavior.
Unlike other adult bears, Grizzle Face lacks the ability to see and react to nearby threats, but still possesses a keen sense of smell and can easily be lured around by the smell of fish. Aside from Grizzle Face, there are six other bears that reside inside an icy bear cave on the southern end of the lumber camp.
- By default, Grizzle Face is able to see and hear, and he can be harmed until the player begins the "Old Grizzle Face" mission, during which he will possess the opposite traits. After said mission is complete, he will no longer appear blind, but will remain invincible to attacks and not hear any noise until the level is reloaded.
- An image from the second slideshow in "Menace from the North, eh!" depicts Grizzle Face with red eyes, just like all of the other adult bears.
- Four characters in the game (Murray, Bentley, Sly and Carmelita) can actually kill a bear. Murray can just simply punch one until it dies. Bentley can use his Temporal Lock to freeze time, and then go up to a bear and drop a few bombs. Sly can use his Alarm Clock to lure a bear either into water or onto train tracks. Finally, any of the three gang members can use a gadget to lure Carmelita to a bear (or vice versa), and she will attack the bear repeatedly until it is dead. While there are many ways to kill an adult bear, bear cubs are harder to kill, and doing so fails the only mission they appear in.