Albertawow

Black Bear (Ursus Americanus)

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Black Bears can be found throughout the Province of Alberta generally located in mountainous and forest areas. Adult males can weigh up to 200 kilograms (440 pounds). Females can weigh up to 140 kilograms (310 pounds). colors can very from black to brown sometimes blonde which is very rare. Black Bears will eat carcasses of killed animals, overwintered bear berries, poplar tree buds, horsetails (plant), sedges, dandelions, peavines and clovers, sarsaparilla, berries, insects, fish, moose and caribou calves. Red buffalo berries and blue berries being a favorite when in season. Black Bears cannot resist human garbage and it is often necessary to kill a bear that has been fed or allowed to feed on human food or garbage. Bears hibernate for 5 to 6 months in winter dens and lose up to 10 to 30 percent of their body weight. During hibernation body temperature is lowered by 7 to 8 degrees and metabolic rate is reduced 50 to 60 percent. Heart rate drops from 40 to 50 beats per minute to 8 or 19 beats. They do not eat, drink, defecate or urinate during the entire denning period and the intestinal tract becomes blocked with a fecal plug until the bear emerges in the spring. Bear dens are remarkably clean. Matting takes place in June and July and the embryo is delayed until the fall. One to four cubs are born in February while the sow is in the winter den. Cubs are raised by the mother and share her den the second winter. The following spring the cubs forage on their own. Never feed or approach a Black Bear. They can be very dangerous and feeding one will lead to it's death. Once a Black Bear is fed human food it will become a dangerous nuisance leading to it's destruction. For information on Bear rehabilitation see the Cochrane Research Institute web site. (Text information was provided by Alberta Government Resource Development.)

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Canada