The Bear Facts
There are 8 different kinds of bears - American black bears, polar bears, giant panda bears, Asiatic black bears, sloth bears, spectacled bears, sun bears and brown bears which are also known as grizzly bears.
Where Do Bears Live?
Black bears or their relatives live on all continents except Africa, Australia, & Antarctica. Approximately 630,000 - 725,000 American black bears live in 42 states. They also inhabit 11 Canadian provinces. Grizzly bears (also known as brown bears) and polar bears also inhabit North America. The most common bear in Idaho is the Ursus Americanas otherwise known as the American black bear. Baby bears are called cubs, female bears are called sows and male bears are called boars.
Bears walk on their feet as humans do, with their soles flat on the ground. (If you look at other mammals, such as a cat or dog, you'll see that they walk on their toes.) Look for tracks like these:
Also look for scat deposited in piles of thick cords that resemble horse manure except that it is full of insect parts and, in late summer, berry pieces.
Did you know?
- The koala bear is not a bear at all. It is, in fact, a marsupial. They live in Australia and although they look cuddly, they have a reputation for being rather not cuddly.
- The Teddy bear was named after President Theodore Roosevelt who was the subject of a newspaper cartoon. The cartoon, drawn by Clifford Berryman and titled "Drawing the Line in Mississippi," showed President Theodore Roosevelt refusing to shoot a baby bear.
- Smokey Bear was an actual baby black bear who was the victim of a forest fire in 1950. He was rescued from his injuries and because he was orphaned by the fire, became the spokesman, or spokes-bear, for fire prevention.