April 18, 2006

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The Bear Truth

  • Bears can see very well and in color.

  • A bear sometimes stands upright to see or smell scents carried by the wind, but rarely walks on its hind legs.

  • Black bears can run faster than most humans.

  • They seldom visit campgrounds unless careless campers leave food or garbage out.

  • Bears who live far from humans are active in the morning and early evening, but rarely at night.

  • Bears who live near humans prefer to avoid humans and so are more active at night.

  • Black bears are beautiful creatures, but they are not lovable, friendly animals that we should approach in the wild.

  • Bears rarely attack people. People who enjoy the outdoors are far more likely to have fatal encounters with lightning, snakes, or spiders.


What Kind of Bear is it?

Black Bear . . .

  • 98% of diet is plants
  • eats lots of insects
  • captures elk & moose calves & deer fawns in spring does not kill larger ungulates
  • profile of face is straight
  • no hump between its shoulders
  • average male weighs 250 pounds (112.5 kg) (220.5 kg)
  • average height is 3 feet (0.9 m)
  • average length is 4-6 feet (1.6-2.7 m)
  • adults easily climb trees
  • lives about 18-20 years, has been known to live to 30

. . . Grizzly?

  • 90% of diet is plants
  • eats insects captures elk & moose calves & deer fawns in spring
  • capable of bringing down bull elk
  • dished-in face with high brow
  • hump between its shoulders
  • average male weighs 490 pounds average height is 3-5 feet (0.9?1.5 m)
  • average length is 7-10 feet (2-3 m)
  • adults seldom able to climb trees
  • lives about 25 years
Many thanks to Idaho Fish and Game and Project WILD for all of their help in this project. Information for this site developed from "WILD ABOUT BEARS," and is copyrighted by Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Idaho Project WILD. Permission obtained and granted to use this material for educational purposes. Photographic images were provided by the Department of
Fish and Game.
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