Across Alaska and Canada down to Mexico and Florida
Temperate hardwood and boreal coniferous forests
Wild: Omnivorous: high-energy food, including fish, amphibians, small mammals, insects, plants, fruits, etc.
Zoo: Dog chow, fruits and vegetables
Average is 2, range is 1-5 cubs
Approx. 18 years
North American black bears resemble a huge teddy bear. Their color ranges from jet black to gray to brown to blonde. There is even a blue phase. Their length is about 4 to 7 feet, and height on all fours (at the withers) is 2-3 feet. American black bears have small eyes, round ears, and short tails. They reach adult size at 4 years, at which time females range from 90-300 pounds and males range from 125-500 pounds. The bears have a brown muzzle and occasionally a white to cinnamon V-shaped blaze on their chest. They have color vision, movable lips, long prehensile tongues, and strong curved claws. They climb trees easily.
Did you know?
- Black bears bite and claw trees. It is believed this habit is to mark trails and establish boundaries.
- Black bears are curious, but their encounters with humans and human garbage can be extremely dangerous.
- The Kermode bear or the "ghost bear" of the Pacific Northwest is one of a "blonde" (white) color phase sometimes found in litters of differing colors.
- The size of the bear cub at birth is the smallest of any placental mammal, relative to the weight of the mother. This ratio would be comparable to that of a human child weighing about 5 ounces at birth.
Where in the Zoo?
I can be found in the Bear & Tiger Exhibits at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.