National Black Bear Day takes place on the first Saturday in June every year. This holiday began in 2018 and is celebrated on the same day that the North Carolina Black Bear Festival takes place.
Black bears are large mammals that live in North America. They are mostly forest dwellers but can be found almost anywhere, including neighborhoods as humans continue to encroach on the Black Bears natural habitat. Called Black Bears because of their most common coloration, they can be found in almost any color from coal black to grey, brown, tan, and even in rare cases, white or albino. Black Bears can live up to 20 years on average. Their weight can vary from around 200 pounds up to about 600 pounds.
Black Bears are omnivores, meaning they not only eat meat but plants as well. In fact, the larger part of their natural diet consists of berries, insects, grasses, and roots.
Don’t Feed the Bears- EVER! Not typically dangerous animals if they are respected and left alone, they can become more dangerous in populated areas where they can scavenge for human food, or worse, they are fed by humans. This is a dangerous practice as they begin to look at populated areas as a primary food source and will protect what they see as their territory. Black Bears are becoming more of a “nuisance” in neighborhoods as we continue to encroach upon their natural territory leaving them less natural food sources and forcing them into our world. This is when they can become more aggressive causing them to be considered dangerous and need to be put down.
Black bears hibernate in the winter, surviving off of the fatty food stores built up from the food they have eaten earlier in the season. The length of their hibernation depends on the climate they live in, with warmer climates needing less hibernation time. Bear cubs are usually born in the winter and nursed until spring when they finally emerge from the den.