Utah Field Guide: American Black Bear

The often solitary and opportunistic omnivore, the American Black Bear is the smallest of the three bears species found in North America. Contrary to its name, the black bear is not always black; the species varies in color from reddish to light brown to black.

It is estimated that there are at least 600,000 black bears in North America. In the US, there are estimated to be over 300,000 bears.

Black bears have short, non-retractable claws that give them an excellent tree-climbing ability. Their diet consisting of fruits, insects, grubs, small vertebrates, and carrion. They breed in June or July, and young are born in January or February with an average litter size of two. Young stay with their mother until the fall of their second year. Black bears are nocturnal and are dormant during the winter.

For more information on the black bear or any other critter found in Utah, be sure to check out our Utah Field Guide on our outdoors page at KSLTV.com

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