How Long Does a Black Bear Live?

long-black-bear-live Credit: shankar s./Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Black bears can live up to 30 years, though their average lifespan is only 10 years. The discrepancy is due to interactions with humans, as 90 percent of adult black bear deaths are due to gunfire, traps or vehicular accidents.

Black bears can be found in well-vegetated, inaccessible areas across Alaska and Canada, the United States and some parts of Mexico. With such a large range, various groups of people have come to hunt black bears for their hides, meat and fat. However, medical researchers have also become interested in studying their ability to hibernate, as it may help in the development of treatments for kidney failure and other diseases.