Bear in Wikipedia
The bear spoken of in the Bible is the ursus syriacus, scarcely different from the brown bear of Europe. Since the destruction of the forests, it is now rarely seen south of Lebanon and Hermon, where it is common. Not unfrequently met in the Holy Land during the Old Testament times, it was much dreaded on account of its ferocious and destructive instincts; to dare it was accordingly a mark of uncommon courage (1 Samuel 17:34-36). Its terror-striking roars and its fierceness, especially when robbed of its cubs, are repeatedly alluded to.