Black Bear Facts | Yellowstone Wildlife Guide
It is never wise to encourage bears to associate humans with food, and parks across the country have put great effort into educating visitors that a food-conditioned bear is likely to get in trouble and be relocated or, in extreme situations, be euthanized. The effort has been very successful, and according to the National Park Service human injuries in Yellowstone as a result of conflict with bears has been reduced from an average of 45 a year from 1930–1960 to one every five years since 1980.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICSOnly about half of the black bears in Yellowstone are black in color—the rest are brown, blond or cinnamon. This can make it difficult to tell what kind of bear you are watching. Black bears do not have the characteristic shoulder hump of the grizzly, and their noses are “aquiline,” coming straight down from the forehead.
On average, black bears are much smaller than grizzlies, with Yellowstone males rarely weighing more than 300 pounds and females topping out at about 200 pounds.