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Dommaine de nos Ancêtres

Food habits
Family and habitat

1895 route 172 Sud
Sacré-Cœur (Québec) CANADA
G0T 1Y0

Telephone : (418) 236-4551
Fax : (418) 236-1404


Black bears are squat and strong. They are 150 cm long and from 100 to 120 cm high. Adult males weigh around 135 kg (270 pounds). Females are much smaller, and weigh around 70 kg (155 pounds). Black bears can live 25 to 30 years old in captivity, but most of the bears live less than 10 years in nature.

While males grow until the age of 7, females become adults a little sooner. The eyes of the bears are small, and their ears are rounded. Their tails are very short. Bears are plantigrades, which means that they walk on the sole of their feet, like humans. They have strong claws that do not retract. They use them to dig holes and to pull up roots, tree stomps and tree trunks when they are looking out for food.

Black bears can easily roll around a rock that two men would barely be able to move. Normally, black bear have a black coat and a brownish muzzle. They can also have a white spot on the chest or neck. In the fall, their coat has blue shades under the sun rays. Bears seem so soft that we would like to pet them! Even if they don’t see very well (they are probably colour blind), black bears have a well-developed hearing and sense of smell. In favourable atmospheric conditions, they can smell food up to 1 kilometre away. Black bears often stand on their hind legs to sniff the wind full of tasty smells. They can also swim very well and they are not scared to cross rivers and small lakes.

Black bears are great climbers, even if the tree to which they climb doesn’t have branches! When in danger, the cubs quickly climb to the summit of a tree and hide in the foliage. They climb the trees with little jumps and go back down tumbling down the last 2 or 3 metres.

Black bears have several different sounds: they can growl, moan, cry, breathe and de jaw snapping. Each one of these sounds has its particular signification.

This way, when she walks in the woods, the female bear always makes noise that allows her cubs to locate her. And as soon as a cub cries, she quickly gets to him. All this information about black bears is just a summary to allow you to better appreciate this wonderful mammal.

  Food habits | Wintering | Reproduction | Family and habitat | Characteristics
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