General

Black Bear

posted: 04/29/14
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Black Bear
David Allen Photo/Veer

Allow me to introduce Myself: I'm a Black Bear!

Where You'll Most Likely Find Me: North America

What I Like to Eat: Depending on where we live, we like to consume plants, honey, fruits, nuts, salmon, dead animals, young deer and moose calves. We have grown to love your food and garbage found at campsites.

Betcha Didn't Know This About Me: When we stand up straight (up to six feet in length), that doesn't necessarily mean we are ready to attack. We are often curious about you, and are typically checking out our surroundings.

Characteristics: We are the smallest of the three bear species. We are also the most well-known of the three. Not all black bears, have black fur. Many black bears have dark red brown fur or a brown muzzle. Some of us have white patches on our chests called a "chest blaze".

Heavy Load: The female bears are called sows and usually weigh about 175 pounds. Male black bears are called boars and weigh two to three times the size of females at about 600 pounds.

Hibernation: It's a myth that we spend the entire winter in a state of slumber. Yes, we spend winters in our dens to avoid the cold weather and due to the lack of food supply feeding on our own body fat that we have built up during the warmer months. But we will also wake up from time to time to look for food during milder winter temperatures. This state of inactivity is called torpor and begins in December, and on average lasts through mid-April.

Loners: We are nocturnal creatures who prefer to roam alone. We will spend most of every waking moment hunting for food to build up enough fat to survive the winter. We only will socialize with one another if the food supply in a certain area is not scarce.

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