Longevity & Causes of Death

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Bear climbing tree

Potential Longevity (lifespan): Black bears can live 21-34 years or more if they are not killed.

Causes of Death: In Minnesota, black bears less than 17 months old die from starvation, predation, falls from trees, and other accidental causes. A very few die from parasites or disease. Very few adult black bears die of natural causes except in national parks. Nearly all adult bears die from human-related causes. A few are killed by vehicles. Most are shot. The average age at which bears are shot in Minnesota is 2 for males and 3 for females.


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