What Are Some Facts About Black Bears?


Quick Answer

The black bear is a small bear found in North America that has short strong claws, making it an excellent tree climber. Black bears can be various shades of black, brown and cinnamon colors. There is a rare subset of this species with white fur.

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What Are Some Facts About Black Bears?
Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Black bears eat large amounts of food in the summer and fall to prepare for a winter-long hibernation. They are omnivorous and opportunistic feeders, eating mostly grass, berries and nuts. On occasion they eat fish and small mammals. In the winter they hibernate in dens, and their bodies feed off of their stored fat. During hibernation they do not eat or urinate, but they do wake up if disturbed.

Bears that live in proximity to humans or campgrounds can easily develop a taste for human food. This can make the bears dangerous to humans, and so most state parks post warning signs to prevent humans from feeding the bears.

Black bears are solitary animals that roam large areas of land as a home base. Female black bears have their cubs in the mid-winter and nurse them until early spring. They all emerge in spring to hunt for food, and the young cubs stay with their mothers until they are 2 years old.

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