Black Bear
Ursus americanus


  • A medium-sized bear, black or brown in color
  • snout brownish in the black color phase;
  • front claws slightly longer than the hind claws, curved, adapted for climbing;
  • profile of face nearly straight, not "dished-in" as in the grizzly;
  • fur long and rather coarse.


Largely creatures of woodland and forested areas, black bears are more at home on the ground than they are in the trees. They are expert climbers, however, especially when young, and often seek refuge in trees. In the colder parts of their range, black bears are inactive for a part of the winter. They "hole up" in a hollow downed tree, under a shelving rock, or in some other suitable site, and they do not exhibit the characteristics of true hibernation (their temperature does not drop markedly nor are the heartbeat and respiratory rate reduced). They may awaken and become active during a warm spell in midwinter and return to the nest to sleep again when the temperature drops.


Black bears have a rather extensive range throughout North America. However, they are only found in the mountains in the northeast corner of Georgia.

Georgia Wildlife Web

The Mammals of Texas - Online Edition