Black Bear

Black Bear

Ursus americanus

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Eastern Woodlands

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Of the three bear species that inhabit North America, the American black bear is the only one found exclusively on this continent. It relies upon its keen sense of smell to locate a variety of foods. The black bear's diet changes seasonally, and includes berries, acorns, beechnuts, skunk cabbage, grass and carrion. Favorite den sites for hibernation include rock cavities, hollow trees, excavation dens or ground nests. During hibernation, a black bear does not eat, drink, urinate or defecate, and will lose up to thirty percent of its body weight. Typically, two to three cubs, each weighing about 12 ounces, are born to a hibernating sow in January or early February.

Our Animal's Story

Our four black bears: Butch & Sally are siblings that were confiscated after discovered illegally housed in a West Virginia basement. Born January 1997, they arrived here April 1999. Chief, a male born January 2014, was begging for food at an Oregon campsite. He was likely a pet that was returned to the wild. Malnourished & small, he was taken to a wildlife rehabilitator. Arriving June 2015, Chief now gets a nutritious diet with great animal care & he's a very healthy bear.Murphy, a male born January 2015, was handfed by a family in Montana. Used to humans, he couldn't safely live in the wild. Arriving March 2016, Murphy is a cinnamon black bear with brownish fur instead of typical black.

silhouette of mountain range