While black bears are capable of standing and walking on their hind legs, the usual posture is on all fours. The black bear's characteristic shuffle results from walking flat-footed, with the hind legs slightly longer than the front legs. Each paw has five strong, non-retractable claws used for tearing, digging, and climbing. One blow from a powerful front paw is enough to kill an adult deer. But in spite of their size and strength, black bears are surprisingly agile and careful in their movements.













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Black Bears prefer forested and shrubby areas but use wet meadows, high tidelands, ridgetops, burned areas, riparian areas, and avalanche chutes. They also frequent swampy hardwood and conifer forests. After emerging from their winter dens in spring, they seek southerly slopes at lower elevations for forage and move to northerly and easterly slopes at higher elevations as summer progresses. Black Bears use dense cover for hiding and thermal protection, as well as for bedding. They climb trees to escape danger and use forested areas as travel corriders. Black bears hibernate during winter and may build dens in tree cavities, under logs, rocks, in banks, caves, or culverts, and in shallow depressions.

Images 1 Through 5 Come From The US Fish & Wildlife Service
Images 6 Through 23 Come From The National Parks Service


















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