Black bears have lost over 60% of their historical range of travel. Denning sites are rock crevices, hollow trees and dense vegetation.
They are found only in North America in large forests with many kinds of fruit and nuts.
Preferred foods are berries, nuts, acorns succulent greens and insect larvae. Meat and less succulent greens are eaten when preferred foods are scarce.
Typically shy and easily frightened. black bears usually retreat before people are aware of them. They are good tree climbers and swimmers. They are very intelligent and curious and they rarely attack people.
Can live over 25 years in the wild (average is 18 years). Usually has 2 or 3 cubs during the mothers’ sleep every other year.
Mating season runs usually from late May to early July with cubs being born in January or early February.
Cubs usually stay with their mother for 17 months and then one to six days before the mothers are ready to mate they force their yearling to stop traveling with them.
Hearing exceeds human frequency and probably twice the sensitivity. Sounds – they are usually silent. A variety of grunts in amiable situations. Loud blowing noises or clack teeth when frightened.
Most bears become active just before sunrise, take a nap or two during the day and bed down an hour or two after sunset.
Black bears are considered efficient hibernators. They go without food, water or passing waste for up to 7 months when hibernating in the northern regions of North America.
The length and depth of hibernation is genetically programmed to match the regional norms of food availability.
Bears in the Southern region where food is available year round often do not hibernate at all and those that do are roused easily.
Flooding. Wolves, dogs, active bears and humans. With a lucrative oriental market for bear gall bladders and paws poaching is a major threat.
Conversion of their habitat to human housing.
Have a great capacity to live in close proximity to people.
Led by a keen sense of smell, they will travel toward food sources in unsecured garbage, bird feeders, farm crops, beehives and outside pet food.
Camping With Bears
Black Bears can swim to island campsites
Keep food in trunk of vehicles or hang from from a cable hanging 5’ down, 10’ from tree trunk & 12’ from ground.
Black bear mothers may bluff-charge, but they rarely attack people
Most bears are timid to be scared away by yelling, waving and banging pans. Spraying with pepper spray works too.
A sign of curiosity, not anger, standing helps bears see and smell.
Each year there are thousands of encounters between black bears and people, often unknown to the people because the bears slip away so quietly.
Keeping a clean camp helps to insulate bears and helps prevent needless bear relocation or killed as nuisances.
Properly store and secure all odorous food/non-food items.
Use electrical fencing around hives and orchards and attach spill pans to bird feeders and hang out of reach (10 feet up).
Don’t surprise a bear – if walking in the woods, warn a bear you are coming by periodically clapping your hands or use bells.
Haida, Tswwassen, Chehalis & Matsqui were admitted to Critter Care on May 2, 2016. They were found in Ladner near a waters edge. No sign of their mother.