How Do You Identify a Black Bear
from a Grizzly Bear / Brown Bear
These Features Are Ways To Tell The Differences Between Bears.
The Grizzly Bear (Brown Bear) and the Black Bear are the only 2 Species of bears found in the United states.
The grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis), also known as a North American brown bear, generally lives in western North America. At one time the Grizzly Bear could be found in many states in the US. Now most grizzly bears can only be found in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
The American black bear (Ursus americanus) is the smallest, most common and problematic bear found in the United States. Black bears typically live in forested areas, however they often will leave the forest in search of food. Often they become attracted to residential areas because of the scent of food and garbage and its immediate availability for consumption.
Color: varies from blond to black. Legs, hump and underparts are usually medium-to dark-brown, and have light-tipped (brownish gray) fur on head and upper body.
Weight: males can reach 500 pounds and females 350 pounds. Males can weigh up to 800 pounds.
Height: 3.5 - 4 feet tall at shoulder when on all fours, and 6 -7 feet while standing upright.
Shoulder Hump: is very distinctive and is in fact muscle mass that enables powerful digging.
Rump: is lower than the shoulder hump.
Profile: curved in shape between the eyes and end of snout helps differentiate grizzlies from black bears.
Ears: are round and proportionately small compared to the body.
Front Claws: are 2-4 inches long and frequently light colored.
Color: black, blond, brown, rust and cinnamon. Typically the snout color is light brown.
Weight: average weight in the West is 100 - 300 pounds. Males are usually larger than females, with males weighing up to 400 pounds or more.
Height: 2.5 - 3 feet at the shoulder while standing on all fours and 5 feet while standing upright.
Rump: is higher than the front shoulders and does not have a shoulder hump or muscle.
Profile: is straight and muzzle is longish.
Ears: can be long and prominent.
Front Claws: are usually less than 2 inches long, sharp, curved, dark colored and excellent for climbing. Bears' claw marks do not always show in their tracks.