Category Archives: Black Bear

Vocalizations and Body Language

Black bears use sounds, body language, and scent-marking to express their emotions of the moment. The main thing that helped me get over my fear of bears was learning their…

How Dangerous Are Black Bears?

By Lynn Rogers, PhD In working closely with wild bears for over 50 years, I have gradually become more and more comfortable with them as I learned their “language” and…

What If I See a Black Bear?

This is probably the most common question we hear. The standard answer nationwide is, “Speak calmly and back away slowly.”  This is good advice.  It identifies you as a person,…

What If I See a Bear That Seems Threatening?

This picture shows harmless bluster by a nervous black bear—a mature female. She made her muzzle long and narrow, lunged forward, blew loudly, and slammed her front feet down into…

If a Black Bear Senses I’m Afraid, Will It Attack?

No.  Most people are afraid near bears and are not attacked. Black bears are not looking for a vulnerable person to attack.  Their first concern is that they will be…

Myth: Mother Bears Give Birth in Their Sleep, Wake up in Spring, and Are Surprised They Have Cubs

Untrue.  The mothers’ metabolic rates are slowed by hibernation, but they wake up to birth and care for the cubs like other mothers do. Many “experts” spout this myth as…

Myth: Mother Black Bears Are Likely to Attack

Untrue. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about black bears. Mother black bears are highly unlikely to attack people in defense of cubs. Mother black bears rarely attack people…

Myth: Menstrual Odors Trigger Bear Attacks

Untrue. Although government brochures warn people about it, there is no evidence for this misconception. In 1967, grizzly bears in Glacier National Park killed a menstruating woman and a woman…

Myth: Mothers Reject Cubs That Have Human Scent

Untrue. This is a total myth—as it is for other young birds and mammals. Touching baby birds and mammals does not cause parents to reject them because of human scent….

Myth: Black Bears Stink

Untrue: Most of the time bears smell clean and fresh. Bear Breath A high compliment would be to say someone has bear breath. People who actually smell bear breath usually say…

North American Bear Center

1926 Highway 169
PO Box 161
Ely, MN 55731

(218) 365-7879
(877) 365-7879
[email protected]

BearStudy.org - Wildlife Research Institute Proud partner of the North American Bear Center
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Dr. Lynn Rogers