One to four cubs are born during the mothers winter sleep, usually in January. Females with newly born cubs usually emerge from their winter dens in late March or early April.
Plant materials such as berries and nuts make up approximately 85% of their diet.
Insects and animal carrion provide valuable sources of protein for bears. In addition, they are good tree climbers, can swim very well, and can run 30 miles per hour.
Bears are most active during early morning and late evening hours in spring and summer. Both female and male bears may have more than one mate during the summer.
Bears choose a denning site with the coming of cold weather.
Dens are usually hollow stumps, tree cavities, or wherever there is shelter.
Bears in the Smokies are unusual in that they often den high above the ground in standing hollow trees.
Bears do not truly hibernate, but enter long periods of sleep.
They may leave the den for short periods if disturbed or during brief warming trends.
Treat bear encounters with extreme caution and follow these guidelines: If you see a bear remain watchful. If your presence causes the bear to change its behavior (stops feeding, changes its travel direction, watches you, etc.)youre too close. Try to increase the distance between you and the bear. If a bear persistently follows or approaches you, without vocalizing, or paw swatting, try changing your direction. Most injuries from black bear attacks are minor and result from a bear attempting to get at people's food.