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Black Bear Facts

One of the many species of animals you are likely to encounter on one of our cruises – at a safe distance of course – is the black bear (Ursus americanus). He is one of the most widely distributed of three bear species in America and the facts about him are sometimes confused with the brown bear. So that you will have some knowledge of this interesting animal, here are some facts about him and his habitat.

  • Black bears climb trees: Black bears are excellent tree climbers and can ascend at remarkable speeds. Thus, someone trying to evade one would be making a huge mistake by thinking he can do so by scaling a tree. Brown bears, on the other hand, have a much more difficult time climbing trees due to the shape of their claws.
  • Black bears are excellent swimmers: Black bears commonly enter the water in search of food. In fact, their cubs seem to have a natural affinity for the water and can swim for miles.
  • Black bears are fast: Black bears can run up to 30mph. However, due to their build, size and coat, they can only sprint at this speed.
  • Black bears aren’t’ always black: Although they are called black bears, their coat can be blue-gray or blue-black, brown and even sometimes white.
  • American black bears are omnivores: Although the bulk of their diet is vegetable (95%), black bear will occasionally eat fish, small mammals, insects, carrion and even garbage. In fact, in northern regions they have been known to kill young deer or moose calves for sustenance.
  • Black bears can live up to 30 years: Black bears have few predators – apart from humans – thus they live for a sometime in the wild. (Occasionally, bobcats, cougars or other animals may attack them but this is relatively rare.)
  • If you are charged by a black bear running can be fatal: Black bears often engage in mock charges so they may only intend to scare you if you encounter one in the wild. Do not run. Instead retreat slowly while facing the bear and shout to scare it.

The black bear is just one of the wild life species you will see on your cruise in the Tracy Arm Fjord, We have an adventure in the Tracy Arm inlet in Alaska that you will not soon forget as you will see bears, whales and other wildlife.