Watchable Wildlife Manitoba

Black Bear


Black bear mother with cubs

Black Bear Family
Photo by Robert R. Taylor
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Black bears are significantly smaller than polar bears; males averaging 135 kg and females 70 kg. They are called black bears but can come in a variety of colours – black, brown, blond and cinnamon. Black bears are omnivores, they eat just about anything, but plants make up the largest part of their diet.

Black bears can live for 25 or 30 years, but most live less than 10 years in the wild. They are good swimmers and can swim small lakes. They are fast on the ground—for short distances they can reach speeds of up to 55 km/hour. Climbing trees is also easy for a black bear.

Black bears are not true hibernators in winter; they can be roused if disturbed. Sometimes if the weather is warm, they wake and leave the den for short periods.

You can see black bears in many of our parks. They tend to be solitary animals, except for a mother and cubs. When in bear country be Bear Smart—never approach a bear, watch from a safe distance.

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