Q:

How do black bears protect themselves?

A:

Quick Answer

The primary way black bears defend themselves is by avoiding danger. When they cannot avoid danger, their first response is to climb a tree. Black bears are remarkable climbers and the only bear species in North America that do so as adults, although their climbing ability declines with age.

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Full Answer

The coats of black bears, which are not always black, also help protect the bears from predators, as the cryptic colors blend in with the habitat. If a bear has no viable escape option and must confront a predator, it often engages in mock charges. During such encounters, black bears may slap the ground, emit vocalizations or chomp their teeth in an attempt to drive off the perceived threat.

Adult black bears have an exceptionally low mortality rate because they have few natural predators. However, humans, grizzly bears and other members of their own species are all documented predators of adult black bears. Humans are the most important causes of adult black bear mortality, which occurs in the form of hunting and vehicular collisions. Young bears have even more predators due to their small size. Approximately one in five cubs dies in its first year, usually as a result of predation by hawks, foxes, bobcats or coyotes.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the prey and predators of black bears?

    A:

    Black bears do not have any real predators except for humans and the destruction they cause to the environment. Conversely, black bears prey upon white-tailed deer fawns, small woodland mammals and beaver only when presented with the opportunity.

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  • Q:

    Where can you find information on black bears?

    A:

    National Geographic provides information about black bears, including size, life expectancy, territory, reproduction and behavior. There is also an audio file that features sounds made by a black bear.

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  • Q:

    What do black bears look like?

    A:

    Black bears are known for their uniformly medium-length black coat and brown muzzle, and they are about 4 to 7 feet long from nose to tail. Black bears have small eyes, rounded ears, short tails and snouts that protrude several inches from the face. A typical black bear weighs between 125 and 500 pounds.

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  • Q:

    How do bears reproduce?

    A:

    Bears are mammals and therefore reproduce sexually, The male deposits sperm from his penis into the vagina of the female bear. If the egg becomes fertilized, the female bear gives birth to live young. The average number of cubs in a black bear litter is three, but first-time mothers usually only give birth to one cub.

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