Black Bears

Black Bears

The black bear is the smallest North American bear. The adults are
usually less than six feet long and stand about two to three feet tall at
shoulders. The weight of a black bear varies between 125-500 ponds. They
have small eyes and rounded ears. Also their snout is very long. Each paw
has five very strong claws, which is used for tearing, digging, and climbing.
One single hit from the front paw is enough to kill an adult deer. A black
bear is a true carnivore, but if not prevented the black bear could be a huge
problem to humans.
A black bear loves to eat fresh leaves, berries, fruits, nuts, roots and also
insects and small mammals. When fall comes near, a black bear must eat
large amounts of food in order to gain enough weight to keep them through
winter hibernation. During hibernation when a little bit warmer weather
comes near the black bear must awaken and take short excursions outdoors,
so they can get a drink or some food. This is so the black bear will be able to
go back to sleep easier.
During hibernation a black bear will stay in a cave or some kind of stone
formation. Usually it will be near a creek or stream. The area around the
cave will usually have a lot of vegetation. If the cave does not have any
water or food around it the black bear will try to find another place to sleep
through the winter. That place will have plenty of food and water. During
the short excursions outdoors during hibernation the bear looks for
replenishments, this is why the bear must be near food and water (Rieffberger
8).
A black bear’s habitat usually depends on two factors. One is vegetation
and the other is human activity. A black bear usually is not picky about a
place to stay if it has got food and is not too close to human activity. A black
bear’s habitat is usually characterized by a dense forest understory, which
includes brushy territory or a lot of downed trees which fell due to the
weather. Once spring starts coming around, black bears start emerging from
their hibernation. They move around the area a lot, because they are looking
for a new place which has good cover to stay under and a lot of vegetation a
round (Rieffenberger 8).
Black bears are becoming more and more of a problem. If people have
garbage or food that they have thrown out, a black bear may come and get it.
To keep a black bear out of the garbage, you need to get rid of the garbage
properly. If you do have a bad bear problem, you should call the West
Virginia Division on Natural Resources and they will either trap the black
bear or chase it away with the use of trained hounds. If the officer traps the
bear, the officer has to fill out a form to tell where it was captured, and what
the problem was. Then the officer tags the bears ear and fills out information
about the bear itself. When the officer releases the black bear, he has to tell
the date, county, and exact location. After this is done, the officer will be
able to if it is the same bear when another black bear is caught and has a tag.
The very last resort in getting rid of a black bear is shooting it. If this is the
case, a conservation officer will have to be the one to kill the black bear. If
any damage is done the person should check and see if the damage is covered
by the bear damage compensation. Not all damage is covered. Sometimes no
damage at all is covered (Houchins 2).
Most problems with black bears is caused by human error. If a person
gets rid of their trash and edible products properly, they will most likely not
have a problem with black bears (WV DNR).
The mating season for a black bear differs from most animals. Most
animals breed when they are in peak physical condition, but black bears when
their body weight is at the lowest for the year
and the food is scarce. This is usually in the spring. The birth of a cub
usually takes place in the sows winter den. If it is the bears first litter, there
will often be only one cub, but if it is not she may