Black Bear

Coming Someday to WolfQuest

Less aggressive than grizzlies

Black bears are smaller and much more common than grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park. They can climb trees well and prefer forested areas. They have good eyesight and hearing and an exceptional sense of smell.

Black bears are not as dangerous as grizzly bears and will likely yield to them and wolves at carcasses. They hibernate in dens from November until late March. When they emerge, they are hungry and will eat just about anything they can find, including spring baby ungulates.

In Yellowstone, about 50% of black bears are black in color, others are brown, blond, or cinnamon.

credit: Neal Herbert, NPS

Quick Facts

Black bear (Ursus americanus)

Black bears are generally solitary and avoid conflict except when obtaining food or protecting offspring. Females usually have 1-3 cubs that stay with her for about a year and a half.

  • SIZE: Males weigh 210–315 pounds, females weigh 135–200 pounds; adults stand about 3 feet at the shoulder.

  • SPEED: Can run 40 to 48 km/h (25 to 30 mph)

  • DIET: American black bears are omnivores, eating rodents, insects, elk calves, cutthroat trout, pine nuts, grasses and other vegetation. They also scavenge at carcasses but eat less meat and more plants than grizzly bears.

No Black Bears in WolfQuest (yet)

We hope to add them someday.