As its name suggests the black bear is usually – but not necessarily -- black and is the only type of bear found in New Brunswick. Though widespread (the province’s bear population is estimated at over 15,000), it’s elusive and is not often seen by visitors.
Although not true hibernators, bears like their beds and tend to stay in their dens from mid-November to early spring. During this period, their metabolism slows and they are unconscious but be in no doubt that they’ll awake grumpily in response to danger.
Though smaller than the better-known grizzly (not found in the province), adult male black bears stand at about 1m high at the shoulder and can weigh 200kg. They are excellent climbers, fast runners, have acute hearing and a finely-tuned sense of smell, but relatively poor eyesight. Generally more active at night, they tend to be solitary, pairing up only for the mating season (spring / summer).
Black bears are omnivores with vegetation making up the majority of their diet, especially in late summer and autumn when nuts and berries are abundant. As autumn draws to an end bears seek out a den (typically a cave or mossy hollow) where, during winter hibernation, females give birth to between one and four cubs which remain in the den with their mother until spring.
To observe black bears feeding and interacting, completely unaware of your presence, head to Little Big Bear Safari near Acadieville.