Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Animals: Know What's Out There: Black Bear


* found across Canada, including the north
* found in western United States
* lives in wooded areas and mountains


* smallest bear in North America
* male can be 2 metres ( 6 ft. ) in length ; 1 metre ( 3 ft. ) to the shoulders
* not all are black, some are dark brown or rusty brown
* brown patch on the nose, stubby tail, sharp claws


* able to climb trees, wraps front legs around the trunk
bear in a tree
* eats campers' food, goes into trash cans
* sleeps during the winter, might come out on warm days


* looks for a den under a fallen tree, in a hollow log, in a cave.
* may also dig a small hole in a hillside
* females line the den with grass and leaves
* eats alot in the fall to fatten up
* not a true hibernator
* very hungry when it comes out of the den in spring


* was once hunted for sport
* now protected in some areas of Canada and the US
* illegally killed for their bladders, paws, other body parts
* has few enemies, animals are afraid to attack the bear
* strong, has powerful paws and sharp teeth
* can move fast for a short distance and can swim


* two or three cubs born every two years
* born in January or February
* newborns are naked and blind, 15 to 20 cm. long
* spend the winter in the den drinking mother's milk
* by May their coats have grown
* spend second winter with mother in the den
* cubs whine (sounds like a baby crying)


* spend most of their time looking for food
* eat plants - twigs, buds, leaves, nuts, roots, fruit, berries, plant shoots
* also eat ants, honey, fish
* use sharp claws to tear bark from trees and to rip open rotten logs to look
for insects and grubs
* climb trees for birds' eggs and to get to beehives
* sometimes eat small mammals
* catch fish with paws or teeth
* stand up on hind legs to smell


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