The Black Bears
Some fast facts:
American Black Bear (Ursus americanus)
Height: 2-3 feet (.6-.9m) at shoulders
Length: 4-7 feet (1.2-2m) from nose to tip of tail
Weight: Males weigh an average of 150-300 lbs. (68-158 kg), females are smaller. Exceptionally large males have been known to weigh 500-600 lbs. (227-272 kg).
Lifespan: Average lifespan is around 10 years, though black bears can live upward of 30 years in the wild.
Diet: Less than 25% of their diet is composed of animal matter
Home ranges: Black bears home range vary from 2.5 to 10 square miles (6.4-26 square kilometres)
* Short claws make them adept tree climbers
* Highly adaptable, black bears are the most widespread and successful bears in North America
The black bear (Ursus Americanus) is the most common and wide spread bear in Canada and can be found in forests in every province except for Prince Edward Island.
Although most will be black, it can be quite common in the west and south for them to have coats of blonde, cinnamon, or brown.
Black bears enter a deep sleep of hibernation for about 125 days from around October time. To prepare for this they increase their weight by 35%.
- The adult black bear is usually 150-180cm from nose to tail and 100cm from foot to shoulder when standing on their hind legs. Males weigh on average 115-270kg and females 92-140kg. They can run at about 45kmph, swim well, and have strong claws which make them excellent tree climbers.
Average lifespan of the black bear is 10 years in the wild but have been known to live to 30 years old.
About 95% of a bear diet is made of vegetation with the other 5% being insects, mammals and birds.
- The black bear is a solitary animal with the exception of mother and cubs that will stay together for about 1 and a half year. Although solitary they will tolerate each other, especially if there’s food around, but a mother with cubs will not like other bears getting too close.
- Mating season is from June to mid-July. Pregnancy lasts 10 weeks with cubs being born blind and hairless. It is most common for bears to give birth to 2 cubs but it has been known for 6 cubs to be born at one time.
- Here at The Little Big Bear Safari we have seen 4 cubs in one family only once in 20 years! Cubs are born during the hibernation period in January and February and will stay in the den with their mother until they can see and are able to follow her.