1. Where do black bears live?
American black bears only live in North America. They are found throughout Canada, in most of the states in the United States, and in northern Mexico. Black bears live mostly in areas where there are forests.They need a place where there is food,water, and shelter. They can find these things in wooded areas.
2. Are they all black?
No, although they are called American black bears, some of them are not black. Just as people have different colored hair, bears have different colored fur. Some bears are black,some are brown, and a few are white. There are different shades of color, too. Some brown-colored bears are light brownand others are dark brown. Their fur color comes from their parents, just as your hair color came from yours.
3. What do bears eat?
Although they are classified as carnivores, or meat-eaters, bears are really omnivores, like we are. They eat meat and plants. About 90% of the diet of eastern black bears is plants — grasses, leaves, buds, flowers, mushrooms, berries and other fruits, and nuts, including acorns. Most of the meat they eat is insects.
4.Do bears really like honey?
Bears eat honey, but what they like best about finding a beehive is the bees and larvae inside! They eat the bees and larvae, and the honey is an extra treat.

5. How come baby bears are called cubs?
Baby animals are called by various names. A young human is a child, a young cat is a kitten, and a young bear, lion, or tiger is called a cub.

6. What do cubs look like?
When cubs are born, they have very little fur. Like newborn puppies, they are blind and helpless. They only weigh about half a pound and are about the size of a guinea pig. Their fur thickens as they grow. This cub is about 5months old.
7. How come mother bears have to get the food?
Bears are mammals, which means that the mother bear feeds her cubs with milk from her body. A bear has very rich milk, so the cubs grow fast while nursing. After the bears come out of the den, it is the mother's job to show her cubs what foods are good to eat, and where to find those foods.

8. Do father bears stay with the mothers and cubs?
No, they don't. Father bears do not have a part in caring for the cubs or teaching them.

9. How big are black bears?
Male bears (boars) are bigger than female bears (sows). The average height, from the ground to the shoulder of the bear, is 2½ to 3 feet. The average length, from nose to tail, is 4 to 6 feet. The average weight is 100 to 600 pounds. This is a picture of a large, male bear.
10. What other animals are bears related to?
Bears are most closely related to dogs, wolves coyotes, and foxes. The skeletons of these animals are quite similar, although the bear's bones are heavier, to support a larger body.
11. Do bears have 5 senses?
Bears have 5 senses, just as we do. Their sense of smell is better than that of most animals. They use their noses to locate food, to avoid humans or other bears, to identify cubs, and to find a mate. A bear can smell food that is a mile or more away! Their sense of sight is probably about as good as yours. They can see close things better than far-off things. Their hearing is better than that of humans. Their lips are sensitive, and bears use their lips to touch, as we use our fingers. Not much is known about a bear's sense of taste.
12. Why do bears stand on their hind legs?
Bears stand up to get a better view or a better smell of what is ahead of them. Since cubs are small, they stand up a lot, just to see over the grass. Some people who see a bear stand on its hind legs think it is going to attack. But that is not true.
13. What does a bear's track look like?
A bear's back foot looks quite a lot like a human footprint. They have 5 toes on both front and back feet. This is a picture of a bear's tracks.
14. Can bears run fast?
A black bear can run, for a short distance, as fast as 35 miles per hour. That's about as fast as a horseor a deercan run. It's much faster than humans can run.
15. Can bears swim?
Bears like the water. They are good swimmers. Sometimes they just go in the water to cool off when it is hot.
16. Do black bears fight?
Black bears don't fight very often, but if two male bears want to mate with the same female during breeding season, they sometimes will have a fight. One or both of the males may get cut by the claws and sharp teeth of the other. Bears like to play-fight. They often stand up like boxers or roll on the ground like wrestlers. Sometimes people think they are fighting, but they really are playing.
17. Do bears growl?
Bears are usually quiet, but they have a variety of sounds they make at certain times. These sounds include huffing, woofing, chomping, moaning, grunting, and snorting. They seldom growl in real life the way they do in movies or on TV.
18. Does anything scare a bear?
Yes! Even though bears are big, strong animals, they are fearful of many things and they startle easily. Bears are afraid of humans, and usually will run away if they see or smell a person coming. At the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary we have seen bears that were startled by a squirrel, a chipmunk, and even by a butterfly!
19. Why do bears climb trees?
Bears climb trees for 3 reasons: to escape danger, to eat the nuts or fruit in the tree, and to rest or sleep. When a mother bear brings her cubs out of the den, one of the first things she teaches them is to climb a tree quickly when she gives them a signal.
20. How long do black bears live?
Black bears can live as long as 30 to 40 years in the wild. The average age is 18. They generally have good health and do not get sick. Humans cause most of their deaths.
21. Why do bears hibernate?
Black bears that live in Minnesota (where the VSWS is) sleep in a den for as long as 6 months each year. Cubs are born while the mother is hibernating.Bears that live in the southern part of the country, like Florida, may not hibernate at all. The reason bears hibernate is because there is no food available for them. There is food available all year long in Florida.
22. Do bears really live in caves?
During winter, a bear may hibernate in a cave if he finds one. But bears also hibernate in hollow trees, under large boulders, under brush piles, or at the base of a big tree. Sometimes a bear will dig a den in the side of a hill, and sometimes he will make a nest of leaves and brush. When a bear is not hibernating, it moves around a lot and doesn't live in one place.
23. Can bears be trained?
You may have seen a movie that had a bear in it. Unless it was a nature program, the bear was probably an "actor," a bear that had been trained to follow the directions of its trainer. Bears are very smart, and can learn to "act." Bears used to be trained to perform in circuses, but today most people realize that bears are wild animals that should be free and living their lives in the wild.
24. Are koala bears and panda bears really bears?
Koalas aren't bears at all, they are marsupials, a different kind of animal. Marsupials carry their babies in pouches. Kangaroos are marsupials, too. Bears are mammals. Their babies are born alive and don't live in a pouch. Panda bears are bears. Scientists used to think that pandas were different from bears, but they learned that pandas are the same as other bears in most ways.
25. Are bears going to be extinct?
We hope that bears never become extinct, since that would mean that there were no more bears at all. Animals become extinct when people do not care enough about them to be sure that their habitat is protected. By learning about bears and what they need, you will be able to help keep bears in our world.

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