Appearance of the Great Smoky Mountains Black Bear

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Smoky Mountains Black Bears

Appearance & Size

Smoky Mountain Black bears are small in size as bears go. They are for example, dwarfed by Grizzly bears and even by other American Black Bear populations in North America.

mature black bear in the smokiesWeight: Black bears come in all sizes, but for the most part Smoky Mountain National Park bears are smaller than most Black bears. By some reports, female Park bears average 125 pounds and males two hundred twenty five. The larger males within the park weigh around 300 pounds. By comparison, the average American Black Bear outside of GSMNP weighs an average of 230 pounds for females and 300 pounds for male. A larger male outside the park weighs around six hundred pounds. To complete the comparison, the absolute largest American black bear ever weighed in North America tipped the scales at slightly over eight hundred pounds.

Dimensions: From their nose to their tail, American Black bears generally average five to six feet in length, andblack bear paw are approximately thirty-five to forty five inches tall from ground to shoulder when standing on all four legs. All bears are much taller when standing on hind legs, which they do when they need to see or sniff something which is far away.

The smallish size of the park bears is surprising given that the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the biggest protected area of habitat for the American Black Bear found in the eastern US. Scientists think the variance is due to genetics, food or perhaps climate differences.

More Black Bear Info:

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