Black bears or scientifically called Ursus americanus are native to North America and are most familiar and common bears. They are typically known to live in forests but, can also be found in mountains and swamps. They are known to possess excellent tree climbing capabilities. Top 10 interesting and less known facts are mentioned below.
1. Bear rarely attacks humans. It is 180 times more likely for a human to be killed by a bee and 160,000 times to meet a fatal car accident than to be killed by a bear. Most injuries are result of human feeding, teasing, or messing with bears. Bears will nipe off or bite badly behaved humans as they would do so to other bears that are ill mannered. Although they look frightening and dangerous to some, they are not so.They are in fact, one of the gentlest animals and are harmless if not tampered with. Also, though it does’nt seem to normal people because of their size, black bears tend to be nervous and easily frightened. But, they might hurt you while trying to defend themself.
2.Black bears have very strong hearing and smelling capabilities.They are excellent tree climbers and can swim too. Black bears can attain a speed of 35 miles per hour and can live for more than 25 years under adequate living conditions.
3.Since the 1980s, the black bear population has been expanding along with the human population. In Florida, during 1960 the population was around 5 million and today it has reached to 18.8 million. It is estimated that by 2060 population shall spurge to almost 36 million. Due to rapid growing population the urbanization is leading towards prime habitats of Black bears. As a result, bears and people are encountering each other more than they did before.
4.Black bears are found in variety of colors which can range from black, cinnamon brown, silver blue and even white. The white bears are also called as “Spirit” or “Kermode” bears.
5. Black bears show dormancy during winters but, however they are not true hibernators. During their winter dormant period, though, they do not eat, drink, urinate, or defecate, but may wake up if disturbed.
6.Female black bears give birth to two or three baby bears that are born blind. This happens during mid-winter. Since, they are helpless, their mothers are required to nurse them in the den untill spring. The cubs will stay with their very protective mother for about two years. Once they are capable of living alone they leave the family unit in search of their own area to live, called home range.
7.Black bears are found not just in forests but in a variety of habitats and are known to possess great adaptibility. Unfortunately, they have lost nearly 60% of their historical range. Due to increased human encroachment, preserving their wild habitat is becoming vital and difficult.
8.Black bears are omnivores. They can eat plants like skunk cabbage, grasses, berries, acorns and nuts and bees, ants, termites, eggs, and small animals like deer fawns and dead animals. They can eat anything available including human garbage. Therefore, are also called an opportunistic feeder.
9.Black bears communicate and express through variety of sounds. When they are relaxed, they make a sound that is a combination of various grunting voices. When they feel threatened, they make loud blowing noise.
10.They are very intelligent animals. So much so that they are known to have better navigation skills than humans and have good long term memory. All of them are individuals but share resources, security and keep friendship when required.