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The Black Beat Beat
(The bears at the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary are black bears)
What do black bears look like?
Black bears are the smallest of all bears living in North America. Adults usually weigh between 90 and 450 pounds. Males are larger than females. Black bears are not always black. Some of the bears at the sanctuary are brown or cinnamon. One bear was white!
What do black bears eat?
Black bears are called carnivores (meat-eaters). In fact, for much of the year they are herbivores (plant-eaters). Just like humans, they are omnivores (they eat both meat and plants). Black bears eat a wide variety of foods. In the spring, when bears come out of their dens, there is not much food. They will eat grasses, roots, insects, and road kill (carrion). In the summer they add mushrooms, wild cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and plums. In the fall, bears may eat for 20 hours a day. They will eat acorns, hazelnuts, and insects, including bees and yellow jackets. Eating a lot of food is important because they have to gain enough weight to survive while they hibernate. When natural food is hard to find, bears will sometimes search for food around people's homes and campgrounds, but if people are careful to keep food, pet food, birdseed, and garbage stored where bears cannot smell them, the bears will stay away.
Where do black bears live?
Black bears live where there is good habitat and enough food to survive. These places are usually areas with plenty of forests and streams. Black bears live in parts of Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Do black bears live where you are? If they do, it is your responsibility to learn how to live together peacefully.
Did you know ?
Black bears often stand up on their hind legs. People sometimes think they stand up to attack. Actually, they stand up to see, hear or smell better. Although male bears are called boars and female bears are called sows this does not mean that bears are related to hogs.
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