Learn About the Bears of Bearhaven

The bears of Bearhaven are inspired by the American black bear, or Ursus americanus. Bears are fascinating, highly intelligent creatures. Keep reading to learn some amazing facts about black bears!


There are more than 300,000 American black bears living in the United States throughout most of the northeast, and down in the Appalachian Mountains, from Maine to northern Georgia, the northern Midwest, the Rocky Mountains, the west coast, and especially in Alaska. Additionally, the Canadian black bear population is between 395,000 to 475,000. Black bears have also been known to live in four areas of Mexico, however there they are endangered.

Look on the map to find out if black bears live in your state!

Bears in the USA

Black Bears Are Not Always Black!

Black bears come in more colors than any other North American mammal! Their fur can be black, brown, white, cinnamon, blond, blue gray, or silver. About seventy percent of all black bears are black, but it depends on the region. They may have a white chest marking which is called a “blaze”.

Bear fur colors


Bears are commonly thought to have the keenest sense of smell in the animal kingdom. A bear can smell food from several miles away. Bears use their sharp sense of smell in many ways. They can smell the slight differences between trees and flowers and know what side of the hill they grew on, and use that information to navigate. In fact, a bear’s sense of smell is seven times better than a bloodhound’s and 100 times better than a human’s!

Bear sense of smell compared to hound and to human

Black bears’ hearing is also very strong; they have more than twice the sensitivity of human hearing and they can hear a wider range of frequencies. They see things in color, and have very strong vision, especially close-up.


When not enjoying salmon nuggets at Raymond’s Café, black bears eat grasses, roots, berries, insects, fish, carrion, and small mammals like rabbits. Bears that are preparing for hibernation may eat as many as 15,000 to 20,000 calories per day. That’s like eating 40 hamburgers!

Bear fishing Photo credit Andrew E Russell; other photos Creative Commons