The American Black Bear
(Ursus americanus), also known as simply the black bear or cinnamon
bear, is the most common bear in North America. The black bear
occurs throughout much of North America from northern Canada and
Alaska south into Mexico and from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
This includes 39 of the 50 U.S. states and all Canadian provinces.
Populations in east-central and the southern United States remain
in the protected mountains and woodlands of parks and preserves.
While there were probably once as many as two million black bears
in North America, estimates in the 1980s put their numbers at
less than 200,000. Some believe that the population has rebounded
to some degree in recent years.
The black bear is approximately 5 feet (1.5 metres) long. Females
typically weight about 90 pounds (40 kg), while males weigh about
290 pounds (130 kg). However, some can weigh up to 700 pounds
(318 kg). Cubs usually weigh about 1 pound (500 g) at birth. It
has small eyes, rounded ears, a long snout, a large body, and
a short tail. The shaggy hair varies in color from white through
chocolate brown, cinnamon brown, and blonde to black, but most
black bears are indeed black or a darker shade of brown. 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.
Come From The US Fish & Wildlife Service