American Black Bear

American Black Bear Ursus americanus

Type of Animal:

Forests, tundra, fields, meadows, mountains, swamps, urban/suburban areas, riparian areas, alpine/subalpine areas, chaparral, woodlands, high tideland, brush, roadsides, sidehill parks, campsites

Canada, Alaska, throughout U.S in N. California, Oregon, Washington, Rockies states, parts of Arizona & New Mexico, a few small parts of Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, & Alabama, parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, & Michigan, Arkansas & S. Missouri, Carolinas, Appalachian states, Adirondack states, & New England area. Also found in parts of N. & C. Mexico. Formerly found in most of Lower 48.

Most individuals black w/ black nose. Some individuals cinnamon-colored, Glacier subspecies bluish, some mutations are white. Males fatter than females.

Twigs, roots, berries, buds, young plants, beetles, insect larvae, bees, honey, ants, wasps, fish, carrion, refuse, fruits, grasses, shrubs, tubers, seeds, acorns, nuts, grains, bulbs, sedges, clovers, leaves, dandelions, rodents, birds’ eggs, deer, elk, moose, sheep, goats, bison, pigs, cattle, equines, reptiles up to size of alligators, amphibians, beavers, rabbits, hares, foxes, birds, armadillos, otters, bobcat kittens. There have been a few cases of man-eating black bears. Males prey on cubs of own species & brown bear cubs.

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos & wildlife parks

Solitary, though same-sex siblings group together & small groups sometimes form at food sites.

Additional Info:


Male-375-600 lbs
Female-90-300 lbs
Young-20 lbs

6-8 months

Male-5-7 ft
Female-4-5 ft

Body Length:
Male-5-7 ft
Female-4-5.5 ft

Life Span: 15 years, up to 30 years in captivity

Tail Length:
4.8 in, same for both sexes

Adults have no predators besides alligators rarely taking adult females. On the other hand, cubs preyed on by wolves, cougars/pumas/mountain lions/panthers, alligators, male brown bears, & male black bears. In fact, male black bears highest cause of cub mortality.

Cubs stay/ mom for up to 2 years & she protects them from predators.

Males engage in deadly fights during breeding season, ripping at each other w/ teeth.

Fun Fact(s):
These animals are VERY DANGEROUS! This applies especially to mothers w/ cubs, bears used to humans, & bears viewing us as prey. If not bothered, then fairly non-aggressive.

Teddy Bear named after president Teddy Roosevelt after refusal to shoot bear cub.

4 thoughts on “American Black Bear

  1. Elana R

    I was just in northern Wisconsin and saw a mama black bear and her two cubs. I was wondering about their gestation period and how long they remain with mama. Thank you for answering my questions.


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