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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 3 black bears have different stories. Our oldest, Butch, was confiscated after being discovered illegally housed in a basement in W. Virginia. Born January 1997, he arrived here in April 1999. Chief, born January 2014, was found begging for food in Oregon as a yearling. He was likely a pet that was returned to the wild. Malnourished & small, he was taken to a wildlife rehabilitator, and then sent to us in June 2015. After given a nutritious diet and great animal care, he's now very healthy. Murphy was born January 2015. He was hand fed by a Montana family, used to humans, and couldn't safely live in the wild. He arrived in March 2016 and is a cinnamon black bear with reddish brown fur.