American Black Bear (Ursus americanus)
- The most abundant of all the bear species.
- Around 500,000 in the wild.
- Around 40,000 bears are killed each year through legal hunting, over 20,000 are poached.
- By nature a timid and secretive bear.
- These bears suffer greatly when hunted with dogs and crossbows.
- Often killed for their gall bladder which is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
- American Black Bears can also be brown, cinnamon, blue-grey and even white (known as the Kermode or ‘Spirit’ Bear).
- Unlike the Brown Bears, they don’t have the shoulder hump.
- Black Bears can vary considerably in size.
- They are good climbers and swimmers.
- Found in North America and northern Mexico.
- Lifespan in the wild is around 20-25 years.
- Cubs stay with their mothers for 18 months.
- CITES appendix II.