• sun setting over the gorge

    New River Gorge

    National River West Virginia

Black Bear

black bear

The American black bear is the most widely distributed of the bears in the world. Male black bears weight in at around an average of 300 pounds and females average 120 pounds. They can reach 5 to 6 feet in length. Black bears are known as omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. Bears are not picky and have a wide variety of tastes that they enjoy. Black bears are the official state animal of West Virginia. They have been spotted in all 55 counties of this state.

Most black bears living in the Eastern United States live in forest or swamp. Their habitat is usually characterized by thick vegetation and an abundant supply of fruits and nuts, as well as a close water sources. In winter, they den in areas hallowed out trees, caves, or other natural formations.

Although black bears are found throughout the park, they are rarely seen. Bears tend to be mostly nocturnal and usually will try to avoid people.

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