American black bear (Ursus americanus)

Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site

The American black bear is the only species of bear found around Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site. Black bears are usually black with a lighter coloured muzzle and sometimes a white chest patch. Some individuals are brown or cinnamon in color. Their weights average 63 kg for adult females to 93 kg for adult males.

Black bears are omnivorous. Some of their favourite foods include grass, dandelions, ants and berries, but they will eat whatever is in season. It is important that bears rely only on natural food sources. Bears can lose their fear of humans when they are attracted to inappropriate food sources such as coolers, bird feeders, barbecues, pet food, garbage and recycling.

Black bears overlap their territories with other bears. Females have smaller home ranges, around 14 km2, while males can have home ranges ten times this size. Males are generally solitary, except during breeding season, and females stay with their cubs until they are about 18 months old.

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