Did You Know?
Black bears are the only species of bears found in the State of Florida, they are also the State’s largest land mammal. They are powerful and fast – with the ability to sprint up to 35 miles an hour. They have 5-toed feet with large non-retractable curved claws that allow them to climb trees almost effortlessly. Their claws can be seen very easily in their tracks.
The Florida Black Bear’s diet normally consists of 80% plants; grasses, leaves, mast, 15% insects; wasps, bees, termites, ants, and 5% animal matter; usually carrion or armadillos & opossums. During the summer months it is normal for a bear to eat around 5,000 calories a day. During the fall in preparation for winter bears will forage up to 18 hours a day and eat up to 20,000 calories a day. Florida bears are not true hibernators but they will den during freezing temperatures.
A bear is always looking for food – it is extremely important to keep bears dependent on their natural food sources and away from your home. For more info on bear proofing your home, please visit http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/managed/bear/living.
While it is difficult to determine the average lifespan of the Florida bear, they can be aged by removing a small premolar tooth. The oldest known male Florida black bear was 20 years old. Adult black bears have no predators besides other bears and humans. In Florida, the main contributor to mortality is vehicle collisions. On average, over 200 bears are killed on Florida roads.
For more information on the Florida Black Bear please visit http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/managed/bear.