BLACK BEARS AT A GLANCE:
COLOR: In southwest Colorado, 90% of black bears are some shade of brown. They may be cinnamon, honey-colored, reddish, blonde, black or brown. Individual black bears may change color drastically from year to year, or even in a period of one month. See photos of color variation of local bears
SIZE: Black bears average three feet tall when standing on all four feet and five to six feet tall when standing upright.
WEIGHT: On average, adult male bears weigh 275 pounds and females 175 pounds. Depending on the time of year, food supply and gender, they may weigh anywhere from 100 to 450 pounds.
SENSE OF SMELL: Astounding. A black bears nose is 100 times more sensitive than a persons. They can smell food from five miles away.
EYESIGHT: Keen, similar to humans.
ATTRIBUTES: They can run in bursts up to 35 mph, climb trees with great ease and are strong swimmers. Their normal response to any perceived danger is to run away. They have great memories, handy for remembering the locations of food sources. They are not nocturnal animals, but use the evening hours to avoid people.
LIFESPAN: Black bears can live 20 to 25 years in the wild, but rarely are allowed to live that long.
Bear photo by Claude Steelman / Wildshots, Inc.