The black bear is a very elegant and smart bear, and there are actually two types of black bears. There is the Central and East Asian black bear and the American black bear. They’re so intelligent animals and tend to be so curious. American black bear is the smallest body size of the 3 bears species found in North America, and they are found only in North America. Black bears have short, and non-retractable claws which give them a great tree-climbing ability.
Black bear fur is often a uniform color except a brown muzzle and light markings which sometimes appear on their chests. Eastern populations are often black in color while the western populations usually show brown, blond, and cinnamon coloration in addition to black. Black bears having white-bluish fur called Kermode (glacier) bears and these unique color species are only found in coastal British Columbia, Canada.
The name black bear isn’t a very accurate name for this species of bear. In fact, they can come in several colors such as gray, black, brown, cream and silvery-blue. Many black bears are black but usually a black-colored bear may have brown cubs, and brown colored bears may have black cubs. The black bears habitat varies from the far northern tundra of Canada and Alaska to the Central America and Mexico forests. There’s still more information we need to know about this animals. Therefore, in this post, we will try to provide facts about bears.
Here are some of the interesting facts about black bears:
- Home on the range
Black bears live only in North America. The species usually ranges from Canada in the north to Mexico in the south, and lives majorly in forests, feeding on nuts, fruits, vegetation, and shoots.
- The high life
Black bears are superb climbers and are usually photographed scaling trees. Their claws offer them excellent grip, and the branches provide youngsters safety from their predators, Cubs can be extremely adventurous, climbing high into the treetops.
- Water bears
Also, black bears are good swimmers and will readily enter the water in search of fish. Black bears cubs take to the water quickly and easily, and one adult is believed to have swum 9 miles along the Gulf of Mexico.
- Speeding up
They tend to shuffle along very slowly especially when walking but are capable of running at a speed of almost 40-50km per hour. Nevertheless, they can’t maintain this speed for long.
- Small but numerous
The black bear-Ursus americanus- is the considered smallest, yet most popular, of the three species of bear found in America. The recent population estimate is 750,000 individuals.
- Family matters
Female black bears can give birth up to 6 cubs and often breed every year. Cubs remain with their mothers for almost 18 months.
- Hunting statistics
According to the statistics from Born Free USA, Black bears have been legally killed in twenty-seven states in America, and between 40,000 and 50,000 black bears are legally hunted each year. More are still illegally poached.
- Close encounters
If you see any bear at close range, the common advice is to go back slowly, still facing it. Don’t run. Bears are usually known to make mock-charges within a few meters- if this happens, stand your ground and shout.
- Bears hardly turn down a snack
Like many animals, bears are always looking for food and will spend almost 8 hours a day foraging. They are vegetarians for the most part and feed mainly on nuts and berries.
Black bears are not good at hunting, even though they will catch some fish during spawning season, and if they are able to ambush a moose or fawn calf in the spring, they will.
- Bears lose half their body fat during hibernation
When bears hibernate, their body temperature usually drops from 38°C-33°C, and the heart rate goes from 50 beats per minute to 10. They do not drink, eat, urinate or defecate.
Hibernating bear loses, at least, half their body fat, but- interestingly – they do not lose much calcium from their bones or any muscle mass.