Are very intelligent, curious and have excellent memories,
especially about food sources.
Use their acute sense of smell for information about the world
Have good eyesight and color vision.
Hear high pitches. Their hearing is excellent, though less
relied upon than their sense of smell.
Can run downhill and uphill at speeds exceeding 35 mph.
When standing up, allows them to get more information from
their senses of smell, sight and hearing.
Bears have plenty of food to eat! Do Not Feed
Bears! A fed bear is a dead bear!
Bears are omnivores. Plant food such as
berries, nuts and grasses along with larvae make up the majority
of their diet (as much as 80%), fish and meat are important
sources of protein and fat.
Spring food sources include winter-killed elk
and bison, elk calves, ants along with grasses, clover, dandelion
and other plants.
Summer food sources include thistle, fireweed,
bistort. Roots and mushrooms are added to their diet as well as
cutthroat trout, strawberries and, occasionally, other berries.
Toward fall bears will feed on roots.
Fall food sources include white bark pine nuts
which are an especially important food source in the fall. Plants,
berries and ants are also eaten. Elk injured or killed in rutting
may also be a food source.
Bears hibernate because of a decreased food supply, not an
inability to stay warm.
Dens are used only during winter hibernation. Bears sleep
outside, not in dens or caves, from spring through fall.
Bears den from October or November to March or April.
Males emerge from their dens first each season and females with
cubs emerge last.
Fat put on during fall is metabolized in the denóbears do not
eat, drink, urinate or defecate for up to six months.
Up to 40% of body weight is lost while
Heart rate drops from 40-50 beats/min. during summer sleep to
8-10 beats/min. in the den.
Body temperature drops only a few degrees during denning. Bears
can easily be aroused from their winter sleep.
Dens are lined with leaves, spruce or fir boughs, or pine
Breeding season is mid-May to mid-July, with mating mainly
occurring during June.
Delayed implantation keeps fertilized eggs from beginning
development until around the start of denning season.
Cubs are born in January or February. Litter size is usually
two, but ranges from one to four cubs.
Play is important to cubs for social and physical development,
and probably just plain fun!
Sub-adult females tend to stay within their motherís home
range, while males usually leave their motherís range.