The Different Color Phases of Black Bears

You read the title correctly; black bears are not always black in color. In fact, black bears come in more colors than any other North American mammal. In the Eastern United States, the black bear is often black. When you travel into the Western United States, their colors turn to a more brown of cinnamon color. The reason for the color difference is the habitat. In the West, there are large open meadows that are void of trees. The sun beats down on anything that is foraging in the lush meadows. This is nature’s way of selecting for lighter colors. Lighter fur does not absorb as much heat from the sun. The coloring also adds the benefit of camouflage. As the summer wears on, their brown fur can become bleached by the sun and take on a blonde coloring. Since grasses in the open meadows are a mixture of greens and browns, lighter fur helps the Black Bear blend in and hide from big predators like the Grizzly Bear.

Black Bear

Rare Colors

There are even rarer color phases. In Alaska and parts of Canada, Black Bears are not even close to being black. In fact, locals refer to them as spirit bears because their fur is a creamy white. Alaska is also home to Black Bears whose fur takes on a bluish gray coloring. Though bears in the northern population will still have the standard black coloring.

Yellowstone Bear World

If seeing bears is your kind of thing, then visiting Yellowstone Bear World should be on your to do list. We have numerous Black Bear in wide range of color phases. You could spend years looking around Yellowstone Park hoping to see the different colors of black bear, or you could visit Yellowstone Bear World. If you really want to make your trip special, we have a special opportunity where you can bottle feed our bear cubs. This is one of our most popular activities, so make certain you call in advance to schedule this amazing event.

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