Meet Tank the Bear: A Gentle Giant of Conservation

Tank the Bear had huge footprints to fill when Doug and Lynne Seus adopted him as a young cub born in captivity in 1995. Bart the Bear was nearing the end of his prodigious acting career and Tank was the heir apparent.

Like many a younger brother, however, Tank didn’t try to live up to the immensity of his predecessor. He found his own way instead, with a remarkably gentle disposition and exceptional skill in working with human actors on set. Of course, he also joined Bart as an animal ambassador for The Vital Ground Foundation, which Doug and Lynne had established in 1990 to help protect habitat for Bart’s wild grizzly cousins. Now, 27 years later, Tank continues to carry the torch of conservation for Bart and his successor Bart II, while also boasting an impressive acting resume of his own. He starred in Dr. Doolittle 2 and has also joined Bart II and Honey Bump in the Growing Up Grizzly SeriesZookeeper and Discovery’s Man vs. Bear series. Most recently, Tank teamed up with actor Zac Efron to help announce Efron’s support for conservation as the new chief brand officer of Vital Ground’s business partner, Kodiak Cakes.

Tank the Bear Quick Facts

  • Photo of Doug and Lynne Seus with Tank the Bear in Utah
    Tank with Doug and Lynne. (Photo by Derek Reich)

    Born: January 14, 1995

  • Height: 7 feet, 2 inches
  • Weight: 800 pounds
  • Homepage:
  • Film Credits:
    • Like a Mother Bear (1999)
    • Dr. Doolittle 2 (2000)
    • Lewis and Clark (2000)
    • Christmas in the Clouds (2001)
    • Zookeeper (2010)
    • We Bought a Zoo (2011)
  • Television Credits:
    • River of Bears (1995)
    • Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures (1996)
    • Wild on the Set (1996)
    • Stray Dog (1997)
    • The Baddest Bear (1997)
    • Animal Minds (1997)
    • Lights, Cameras, BEARS (1998)
    • Wild on the Set (2001)
    • Growing Up Grizzly (2001)
    • The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (2001)
    • Everwood (2002)
    • Growing Up Grizzly 2 (2004)

Quotes About Tank the Bear

  • “Tank the Bear steals Dr. Doolittle 2 from Eddie Murphy with clever tricks and raw animal magnetism. Tank, the 800-pound star who plays Archie, is clearly a pro.” –Tom Giliatto, People Magazine
  • “There is a new Ursa Major on the Hollywood scene and his name is Tank.” –Susan Wloszczy, USA Today
  • “The animatronic bear turned out to be quite a waste of money because Tank the Bear was so well trained.” –Steve Carr, director of Dr. Doolittle 2, in USA Today
  • “Tank is really special. It was sometimes difficult to realize that he was a bear, and not a human.” –John Davis, 20th Century Fox, producer of Dr. Doolittle 2

The Legacy of Tank the Bear

Like his predecessor Bart, Tank’s fame has mattered most because of its positive impact for grizzly bears and other wildlife. As an ambassador for The Vital Ground Foundation, Tank has supported grizzly habitat conservation for nearly 25 years. His appearances at Vital Ground fundraisers have brought in support for countless projects, from protection of key habitat acres to support of conflict prevention work like electric fencing and bear-proof sanitation in communities. Tank’s irresistible personality and notoriety have led countless conservation-minded individuals to discover Vital Ground and support the organization’s work to protect the wild heritage of the Northern Rockies for future generations. With over 620,000 acres protected or enhanced since his birth, Tank’s life has meant even more off the screen than on it.