Black Bears


Michael DeLong

3rd Grade, Spring 1999, Mrs. Kobashigawa

Feedback is always very welcome...


Did you know that black bears are not always black? They can be black, brown, and even white. There are other interesting facts about these bears. When you look at this report, you will learn how these mighty animals live. Turn the page to learn more about black bears.


The black bear is a very strong, but shy, mammal. Its ears are shaped like triangles. It has a small snout but no hump on its shoulders, unlike most other bears. Black bears are five to six and a half feet long, but their legs are shorter than other bears. Its paws are medium-sized and its feet are flat. Black bears have one to two-inch long claws. A female black bear may weigh 100 to 300 pounds. A male black bear weighs 250 to 600 pounds. I like them because they can have different colored fur.


Black bears eat a variety of foods. They sometimes work together to catch and eat fish. Honey is their favorite food, and black bears will climb very tall trees to get it. They may steal food from other animals. Sometimes they may kill animals as big as dear. Black bears eat only plants during two months in spring because they are too weak to hunt. Plants make up 70 percent of what they eat.


Black bears can live in mountains, swamps, and forests. In western North America, they usually live in the mountains. But in the east, black bears live in forests and swamps. They live in forests more often than in open country. Black bears can live closer to homes and cities than grizzly bears. They den between a tree's roots or in a hollow log. A black bear is well adapted to its environment.


Black bears can be aggressive except in mating season. They are usually solitary for most of the year. Male black bears can be harsh and jealous fathers. They are not as bold as grizzly bears. Black bears in the wild are very shy and timid. In national parks they learn no harm will be done to them and become semi-wild. Black gears get angered very easily. They will steal food from other animals. Female black bears can be dangerous if they think their cubs are threatened.


There are some facts about the black bear I find unusual. They can be black, brown, almost blue, or even white. Black bears are excellent swimmers. They may rear up on their hind legs and scrape their claws on a tree or a telephone pole. A female black bear usually produces two cubs. Sometimes she may have three or four cubs. There are about 500,000 black bears in North America. They are very intersting.


I found one fact about black bears very interesting. They can eat almost anything. Humans are the only animals more omnivorous than the black bear. We should learn to live in peace with this magnificent mammal. I hope you enjoyed learning about black bears.


Osteen, Phyllis. Bears Around the World. New York: Coward Mccann, pages 186-223, 1966.

Burt, William and Strossenheider. Peterson Field Guides: Mammals. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, page 46, 1980.

The New Encyclopedia Britannica. Tokyo: The Encyclopedia, page 11, 1987.


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