Meet one of the most commonly seen and well-known bears on the North American continent: The American Black Bear.
American Black Bear, Riding Mountain Park, Manitoba, Canada (Author: Diginatur/Wiki Commons cc 3.0)
The American black bear is a medium-sized bear that’s native to North America. It’s actually the smallest among the three bear species found in North America: black bears, brown bears, and polar bears. This bear is the most common and widely distributed among all bear species in that region.
In fact, it’s also the world’s most common bear species.
Unlike the grizzly bear, they don’t have a pronounced shoulder hump. Also, they don’t have retractable claws and this allows them to climb trees very well.
Though they are called ‘black,’ many variations in color exist. In the east most are black with a brown muzzle, in the west some are brown, cinnamon, or even blonde-colored. There are even some with white-bluish fur: these are known as Kermode (glacier) bears and they exist only in coastal British Columbia in Canada.