North American Black Bear

November 10, 2022

The North American Black Bear, the most populous bear on the continent, has a long history throughout North America.

Interesting Facts about the North American Black Bear

  • Unlike the Grizzly Bear, Black Bears rarely attack humans. Another key difference is the survival strategy one should employ if attacked. If charged by a Black Bear, raise your arms to the sky, yell as loudly as possible, and don't attempt to retreat. Most encounters will end with a mock charge; however, if the Bear actually attacks, you should do everything you can to fight back. This is because black Bears are motivated mainly by hunger and will generally give up if the prey fights back.
  • Despite Black Bears being both less aggressive and less deadly, Black Bears make up the highest proportion of bear attacks in the United States due to their population size.
  • Black Bears have seemingly begun increasing their territorial range in the last decade, with sightings as far east as Indiana.
  • Black Bears are generally distinguished from brown bears by their broad skulls, smaller size, and shorter claws.
  • Black Bears are incredible climbers and utilize this ability to find food, hibernate, and escape enemies.
  • Black Bears mainly forage during the night but can be active at any time of day.
  • Black bears weigh an average of 192 lbs but can reach weights up to 550 lbs.
  • Black Bears are omnivores, but their diet mainly consists of foraged vegetation.
  • The lifespan of the average Black Bear is 18 years, but some may live longer, with the oldest Black Bear on record living to the age of 44.
  • Black Bears are one of just two bear species not considered endangered by the IUCN.


  1. Frank

    Black bears go all the way to the east coast, with the largest known black bear was in North Carolina not too far from the intersection of64 and 264.

  2. Jeff Cox

    The county most densely populated by black bears is Pike County, Pa, just 100 miles from NYC. They range all over the East, let alone Indiana.


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