What Do Black Bears Look Like?

black-bears-look-like Credit: Donald Lee Pardue/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Black bears are known for their uniformly medium-length black coat and brown muzzle, and they are about 4 to 7 feet long from nose to tail. Black bears have small eyes, rounded ears, short tails and snouts that protrude several inches from the face. A typical black bear weighs between 125 and 500 pounds.

Though most black bears have completely black coats, some have whitish-blue fur. These black bears are only found in British Columbia, Canada, and they are known as Kermode bears. Some populations of black bears have small cinnamon-colored or blond markings on their bodies. Black bears are known for their non-retractable claws, and their eyes are brown when they reach adulthood, although they are born with blue eyes.

According to Defenders.org, black bears are the smallest of the three bear species found in North America. They live mostly in forested areas, and they tend to live solitary lives, although mothers live closely with their cubs until about one year of age. Black bears have between one and six cubs per litter, though it is most common for them to have two. Their mating season is between May and July, and this is when they are most likely to be spotted by hikers and campers.