Black Bears

Do Black Bears Growl?

Bear Center researchers are still waiting to find out. In over 40 years of capturing, observing, and confronting bears—and seeing the occasional fight—they have yet to hear their first growl….

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Scared Cubs and Crying Babies Sound Alike

Black bear cubs and human babies can sound enough alike to confuse both species. Bear cub crying On August 7, 1990, a scared cub sounded so much like a person…

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How Dangerous Are Bluff Charges?

Stories of bears rushing at people are rare but do happen. These are bears that make the news. They are the unusually aggressive bears that create stories of narrow escapes….

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The Black Bears’ Voice

Black bears not only communicate with grunts, tongue-clicks, and blowing. They have a resonant voice. It is not the barking, growling voice of a dog and is seldom the shrill…

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Harmless Bluster

Bear Center researchers see bluster when bears are nervous and crowded but reluctant to leave because of cubs, food, or being cornered. The researchers usually give these bears space, out…

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Sociable Sounds

In the wild, bears make a plaintive sound when they want to make friendly contact, take food from a bear they know, or nurse. Mothers grunt when they approach their…

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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…

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How Do Black Bears Respond to Mosquitoes?

Black bears mostly ignore mosquitoes. They seldom bother to wipe mosquitoes off their faces. Fur usually prevents mosquitoes from reaching the skin except on the face, ears, and edges of…

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How Do Black Bears Respond to Deer Flies and Horse Flies?

This black bear is trying to slap a deer fly (in the white circle). Deer flies and horse flies bite hard. Bears shake their heads when these flies bite their…

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How Do Black Bears Respond to Ticks?

The only ticks found on black bears in northeastern Minnesota are dog ticks, also known as wood ticks (Dermacentor variabilis), and rarely winter ticks (D. albipictis). Dog ticks are found…

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