[119][page needed], Morris Michtom, the creator of the teddy bear, was inspired to make the toy when he came across a cartoon of Theodore Roosevelt refusing to shoot an American black bear cub tied to a tree. [89] After emerging from their winter dens in spring, they wander their home ranges for two weeks so that their metabolism accustoms itself to the activity. In the far north these bears feed on salmon and often attain especially large size. American black bear meat had historically been held in high esteem among North America's indigenous people and colonists. [42] They may be active at any time of the day or night, although they mainly forage by night. [3][4][page needed] According to recent studies, the sun bear is also a relatively recent split from this lineage. Their circadian rhythm stays intact during hibernation. In 2006, the first confirmation of a grizzly-polar bear hybrid was found in the wild. Florida, Mexico, the Southeastern United States), only pregnant females and mothers with yearling cubs will enter hibernation. [39] In Minnesota, 99% of wintering adult bears were able to survive the hibernation cycle in one study. [39] Even cougars will be displaced by an angry mother bear if they are discovered stalking the cubs. It’s … [citation needed]. [citation needed], Game animals and shooting in North America, Lisette Waits, David Paetkau, and Curtis Strobeck, "Overview" from, McLellan, B. N. (2011). He killed 30 or 40 American black bears with only a knife, which he would use to stab the bears between the shoulder blades while they were distracted by his hounds. [11] From the Holocene to the present, American black bears seem to have shrunk in size,[3] but this has been disputed because of problems with dating these fossil specimens. [4], Although Eurasian brown bears and North American Brown bears are isolated, they are listed as a single species, so technically mating between the two sub-species is not hybridization, even though it cannot possibly occur in the wild. American Black Bear Hybrids American black bears are reproductive compatible with several other species of bears, and have often produce hybrid offspring. [30][31], Surveys taken from 35 states in the early 1990s indicate that American black bears are either stable or increasing, except in Idaho and New Mexico. American Black Bear Conservation Action Plan", "Black Bear hit by car in Southern Indiana", "Early black bear sightings in southern Wisconsin", "Biologists excited after black bear caught on camera in northeast Iowa", "Video Shows Bear in Iowa, DNR Says it Could be State's First 'Resident' Bear Since the 1880s", "Another black bear sighting in Union Co.", "Recent occurrence of an American black bear in Nebraska", "Black Bears - Great Smoky Mountains National Park (U.S. National Park Service)", 10.1644/1545-1410(2001)647<0001:UA>2.0.CO;2, "Learning and Color Discrimination in the American Black Bear", "Black bear monitoring in eastern interior Alaska", "Population, Genetic and Behavioral Studies of Black Bears, "Characteristics of Black Bears and Grizzly Bears in YNP", "American black bear videos, photos and facts –, "829-pound bear takes record in N.J. hunt", "Record-busting, 879-pound bear bagged in Poconos", "World's oldest-known wild black bear dies at 39", "The Return of the Great American Jaguar", "Man Says Bear Saved Him from Mountain Lion Attack in Butte County", "Yellowstone National Park – Denning and Hibernation Behavior", "The bear circadian clock doesn't 'sleep' during winter dormancy", "Hibernating Bears Conserve Muscle Strength and Maintain Fatigue Resistance", "Six months of disuse during hibernation does not increase intracortical porosity or decrease cortical bone geometry, strength, or mineralization in black bear (, "Daily Updates foot pads and fecal plugs", "Hibernation of the Black and Brown Bear", "Why do Bears Like Honey [The #1 Reason They Do]", "Spirit bears become 'invisible' by Jody Bourton, Earth News reporter", "Factor affecting calf elk survival in north central Idaho", "Evidence of grizzly bear predation on a black bear in Hayden Valley", "Probable Grizzly Bear Predation on an American Black Bear in Yellowstone National Park", "Assessment and Update Status Report on the Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos)", "Nowhere to hide: Pumas, black bears, and competition refuges", "In Yellowstone, It's a Carnivore Competition", "Key West Florida Attractions | Alligator Exhibit", https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/return-great-american-jaguar-180960443/?no-ist, "Zoogoer Nov/Dec 2002 Sidebar: Smokey Comes to Washington by Alex Hawes", "Black Bears—Simple Fools or Cunning Killers", "Black Bear Kills Texas Woman, Canadian Man", "Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Bears", "Black Bears Found Guarding POT Farm In Canada", "Black bear hunt gets final approval from Department of Environmental Protection head", "Bear Necessity? [59] The North American Bear Center, located in Ely, Minnesota, is home to the world's largest captive male and female American black bears. Res. [42] American black bears have been reported stealing deer and other game from human hunters. in admiration for the American black bear's intelligence, would decorate the heads of bears they killed with trinkets and place them on blankets. In Virginia, the total length of adult bear skulls was found to average 262 to 317 mm (10.3 to 12.5 in). The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the American black bear as a least-concern species, due to its widespread distribution and a large population estimated to be twice that of all other bear species combined. [64][page needed] Black coats tend to predominate in moist areas such as Maine, New York, Tennessee, Michigan and western Washington. [5][page needed] Their arboreal abilities tend to decline with age. The fat most favored for this purpose was the hard white fat found in the body's interior. They have been known to turn over flat-shaped rocks weighing 310 to 325 pounds (141 to 147 kg) by flipping them over with a single foreleg. Despite living in North America, American black bears are not closely related to brown bears and polar bears; genetic studies reveal that they split from a common ancestor 5.05 million years ago (mya). This strange, fearsome hybrid first came to the attention of many last week when a man shot just such a bear roaming around his property in Nunavut, a remote region of Canada’s Hudson Bay. Unlike the hunting of hibernating grizzly bears, which was fraught with danger, hibernating American black bears took longer to awaken and hunting them was thus safer and easier. But earlier this month, one of these rare bears was shot and killed in Canada by 25-year-old hunter Didji Ishalook. [57][page needed] American black bears that live in northern coastal regions (especially the Pacific Coast) will fish for salmon during the night, as their black fur is easily spotted by salmon in the daytime. Although naturally made dens are occasionally used, most dens are dug out by the bear itself. DRS. The Cinnamon Bear is usually treated as a subspecies (cinnamomum) of the Black Bear (Ursus americanus). The American black bear then split from the Asian black bear 4.08 mya. [5][page needed] American black bears can do extensive damage in areas of the northwestern United States by stripping the bark from trees and feeding on the cambium. So, it's not an albino." Brown bears have been known to breed with American black bears. [66] American black bears are excellent and strong swimmers, swimming for pleasure and to feed (largely on fish). The hybrid was black except for a whitish underlip and jaw. [87] During winter, American black bears consume 25–40% of their body weight. [24], The current range of American black bears in the United States is constant throughout most of the northeast and within the Appalachian Mountains almost continuously from Maine to northern Georgia, the northern Midwest, the Rocky Mountain region, the West Coast and Alaska. [85] During hibernation American black bears retain all excretory waste, leading to the development of a hardened mass of fecal material in the colon known as a fecal plug. As only a small portion of this fat could be harvested for this purpose, the oil was often mixed with large quantities of hog lard. [48] In Yellowstone National Park, a population study found that adult males averaged 119 kg (262 lb) and adult females averaged 67 kg (148 lb). According to Jack Hanna's Monkeys on the Interstate, a bear captured in Sanford, Florida, was thought to have been the offspring of an escaped female Asian black bear and a male American black bear. In 1822, 3,000 skins were exported from the Hudson's Bay Company. [4][page needed] Theodore Roosevelt wrote extensively on American black bear hunting in his Hunting the Grisly and other sketches, in which he stated, in [a black bear] chase there is much excitement, and occasionally a slight spice of danger, just enough to render it attractive; so it has always been eagerly followed. Evidence of a bear attack includes claw marks and is often found on the neck, back and shoulders of larger animals. Females also give birth in February and nurture their cubs until the snow melts. Favored crops include apples, oats and corns. This bear was believed to be a grizzly-polar hybrid until genetic testing confirmed it was a grizzly bear with a blond coat. [88] American black bears are also fond of honey[92] and will gnaw through trees if hives are too deeply set into the trunks for them to reach it with their paws. Bears at lower altitudes tend to emerge earlier. Altitude also has an effect. [3][9] The earliest American black bear fossils, which were located in Port Kennedy, Pennsylvania, greatly resemble the Asian species,[10] though later specimens grew to sizes comparable to grizzly bears. Public Approves of Bear Hunt", Wildlifeinformation.org: American Black Bear Conservation Action Plan. Their claws are typically black or grayish-brown. One study found that both bear species visited 24% of cougar kills in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, usurping 10% of the carcasses. Corn crops and oak-hickory mast are also common sources of food in some sections of the Northeast; small, thick swampy areas provide excellent refuge cover largely in stands of white cedar. They reach sexual maturity at the age of three years and attain their full growth at the age of five years. [91] During summer, the diet largely comprises fruits, especially berries and soft masts such as buds and drupes. Mothers with yearling cubs are seen before those with newborns. [65][page needed], In his book The Great Bear Almanac, Gary Brown summarized the predominance of black or brown/blonde specimens by location:[41], American black bears have better eyesight and hearing than humans. [41][54][55][56] Although they are the smallest bear species in North America, large males exceed the size of other bear species, except the brown bear and the polar bear. [120] The fictional character Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Winnipeg, a female American black bear cub that lived at the London Zoo from 1915 until her death in 1934. The Canadian Wildlife Service noted that grizzly-polar hybrids born of zoo matings have proven fertile. [67][page needed] Up to 85% of the American black bear's diet consists of vegetation,[42] though they tend to dig less than brown bears, eating far fewer roots, bulbs, corms and tubers than the latter species. [98] American black bears have also been recorded similarly preying on elk calves in Idaho[99] and moose calves in Alaska.[100]. [5][page needed][39] Many of these will stealthily snatch small cubs right from under the sleeping mother. Clinton Hart Merriam, taxonomist of grizzly bears, described an animal killed in 1864 at Rendezvous Lake, Barren Grounds, Canada as "buffy whitish" with a golden brown muzzle. Has relatively long, narrow and flat skull and proportionately large molars. [51][page needed] It was found in Nevada and Lake Tahoe region that black bears closer to urban regions were significantly heavier than their arid-country dwelling counterparts, with males near urban areas averaging 138 kg (304 lb) against wild-land males which averaged 115.5 kg (255 lb) whereas peri-urban females averaged 97.9 kg (216 lb) against the average of 65.2 kg (144 lb) in wild-land ones. [82], The hibernating American black bear does not display the same rate of muscle and bone atrophy relative to other nonhibernatory animals that are subject to long periods of inactivity due to ailment or old age. 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