Black Bears are Black
© Depositphotos.com/Iglira


Black bears are black.

Don’t believe that!

The American Black Bear is native to North America. They can be found in forested areas, but sometimes leave the forest in search of food. The American Black Bear is genetically similar to the Asian Black Bear but is not closely related to either brown bears or polar bears.

While the species is known as the “Black Bear,” this term is misleading as there is actually a lot of color variation from one geographic region to the next. About 70% of black bears are black, but coat color can be blue/gray-tinged, various shades of brown, blond, even pure white!

In the Northwestern U.S. for example, most black bears are a lighter shade of brown, causing them to be mistaken for grizzly bears. Along the central coast of British Columbia, “spirit bears” have a recessive gene resulting in a white or cream-color.

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