The black bear, also less commonly known as Kermode
bear, Cinnamon bear, or Glacier bear, is native throughout the Boundary
Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). An adult black bear stands two to three
feet at the shoulders and weighs between 250 and 300 pounds. (Record
weight: 880 pounds in Craven County, North Carolina, and a
close second from northeastern Minnesota weighed 876 pounds on September
5, 1994). Coat color may vary from light brown to deep black.
Black bears are omnivorous, eating berries, grasses,
buds or leaves, nuts, insects, fish, small animals, and carrion. Less
than ten percent of a bear's food is animal matter.
While common in the BWCA, bears tend to keep to
themselves and will generally shy away from humans. During a
19-year study of bear/camper encounters in the Boundary Waters Canoe
Area Wilderness, only two injuries were reported in 19 million
visitor-days. Care must still be taken with choosing campsites and
protecting camp food.
During hibernation, a female will give birth to one to
four hairless cubs, weighing only eight to ten ounces and are hairless.
They grow rapidly, weigh about five pounds by the time they leave the
den, and 60 to 100 pounds by their first year.