American Black Bear

(Ursus americanus)


American Black Bear IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

The black bear is approximately 1,5 to 1,8 m long and varies in weight from 78 to 225 kgs (males) and 45 to 135 kgs (females). They have small eyes, large, prominent ears, a long snout, a large body, and a short tail. The shaggy hair varies in color from white through chocolate brown, cinnamon brown, and blonde to black, but most black bears are indeed black or a darker shade of brown.

Did you know?
Contrary to popular belief, bears do not actually hibernate, they just go into dormancy. During this period all bears lose a great deal of weight, between 15-30% for a male and up to 40% for a female.


Name (Scientific) Ursus americanus
Name (English) American Black Bear
Name (French) Ours noir d'Amérique ou Baribal
Name (German) Schwarzbär
Name (Spanish) Oso negro americano
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Diane Krauss



Range North America (Canada, Mexico, USA)
Habitat Commonly found in different kind of forests. Also in swamps and scrublands. A subspecies of the American black bear even lives in the frozen tundra regions of Alaska and Canada.
Wild population Canada: 327.200 -341.200; USA: 186.881-206.751 (Wikipedia 2011)
Zoo population 296 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

American Black Bear


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 72 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
John Sullivan

Why do zoos keep this animal

The American black bear is the least threatened of all bear species. For zoos outside North America keeping this species has, therefore, a low priority. In the USA and Canada is shown as an important element of the native fauna and because of its cultural relevance for the native peoples.


All large bears are very popular with the public and of major educational interest.


Zoos within the species' range may also keep black bears for animal welfare reasons as they may take care of injured or orphaned individuals.