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What Are Some Interesting Facts About Black Bears?

Black bears can be commonly found in the woods of North America. Besides black bears, there are just two other species of bears found here: grizzly bears and polar bears. One of the most interesting facts about black bears is that they are not always black. They can vary in color and be bluish, brown, cinnamon, or white.

While black bears are the smallest bear species in North America, they are still fairly large. They can be 5-6 feet tall and weigh 200-600 pounds. The males tend to be bigger than the females. These mammals can live more than 20 years in the wild. The oldest bear was 44 years old and in captivity when it died. 

How Strong Are Black Bears?

Black bears are some of the strongest animals. Consider the following:

  • Black bears can knock over 325-pound boulders with a single paw.
  • They have a bite force of up to 800 PSI.
  • The average tooth size is 2.5 inches.
  • They are five times stronger than the average human.
  • A black bear could kill a person with a single swipe.

What Do Black Bears Eat?

Black bears are omnivorous, which means they eat pretty much everything. However, compared to grizzly bears, they eat less meat. They tend to consume more plant material in general. They prefer berries, fruit, and insects. They have exceptional smell and will seek out human food and garbage as well. They can easily break into cars, houses, and garbage bins to get to food. Black bears are also known to eat other animals such as squirrels, mice, beavers, bobcats, red foxes, coyotes, and wolves.

Black Bear Activities

Black bears have shorter claws than grizzly bears, which makes them ideal for climbing trees. These claws give them a strong grip and even young cubs can be excellent climbers. Black bears also enjoy swimming. Even cubs can be found in the water in search of fish. They can easily swim more than one mile in freshwater. Black bears are also good runners. They are very fast, with top speeds at around 35 miles per hour. They can go that fast uphill or downhill and can outrun the fastest human. 


Female bears reach maturity at 3-4 years of age. They typically have 2-3 cubs at a time but have been known to give birth to up to six cubs at once. Black bears tend to breed every other year, with mating season occurring in the summer. Bears are typically born in the winter. Cubs are hairless and tiny, weighing about a half pound. 

Contact Us Today

Black bears are fascinating creatures. If you’re looking to get up close and personal with these majestic animals, Yellowstone Bear World is the place to go. If you’re visiting Yellowstone National Park in the near future, come drive through our park. We also have elk, bison, deer, and goats. We’re one of Idaho’s top attractions. Contact us online to learn more.

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