Few people take the time to understand these animals though, and instead rush to take a picture for their photo albums without a second thought. For instance, do you realize that a black bear will almost never attack a human unless provoked or startled? These are not bloodthirsty predators that hunt us, they are mothers protecting their young. If a stranger came into your backyard and startled you while you were with your child, what would you do? Your first instinct would be to protect your baby right?
One of the most surprising things we learned during our first visit to Yellowstone National Park was that all black bears in the park are not actually black. In truth, only about 50% of them are black in color while the remaining ones are brown, blond and cinnamon colored. We also learned that people were allowed to feed them between the 1910s and 1960s until the rules were changed to avoid injuries to both humans and the bears.
Black Bears normally eat things like insects, rodents, grasses and other vegetation. They can climb trees with their claws and usually live between 15-30 years on average. In November, according to the National Park Service website, black bears locate or excavate a den on north-facing slopes between 5,800–8,600 feet (1,768–2,621 m) where they hibernate until late March. During this time the females will also give birth to their young.
So the next time you are in Yellowstone National Park, we encourage you to look for these magnificent animals. Just do so in a way that is safe for the bears and for you. If you are interested in learning more about the park, check out our other videos featuring the Yellowstone Waterfalls and the Bison of Yellowstone.
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