The Zoo at Chehaw is home to 234 specimens representing over 73 different species. Enjoy natural, outdoor exhibits including Cheetahs, Black Rhinoceros’, Meerkats, Black Bears, Alligators, and many more, while you stroll through our scenic boardwalks and cypress swamp. Participate in animal feedings and keeper talks every weekend. Chehaw’s African Veldt Ride is free with admission, and will take you through our largest exhibit where seven different species roam in natural herds. The Zoo at Chehaw undergoes regular, thorough investigation to ensure that it has met, and will to continue to meet, ever-rising standards. These standards encompass animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. 

Ursus americanus

Image result for american black bear zoo

Geographic Range
Found in Alaska, much of Canada and North America, and northern Mexico

Through much of their range, black bear habitat is described as relatively inaccessible terrain with thick understory and abundant food sources. Black bears are typically found in forest but can be found in mountains and swamps.

Physical Description
The name black bear can be misleading. Though they are typically black in color, their colors can range from brown, cinnamon, blue/grey, and even white.

Males: 120-600lbs, Females: 90-300lbs

On average stand 3 feet tall when standing on all four feet

Average 4-6 feet from nose to tail

Life Expectancy
20-30 years

Bears are omnivorous, meaning they consume both plant and animals matter. Only about 5% of a bears diet is made up of meat and most of that is scavenged and not hunted.

Wild: Roots, berries, meat, fish, insects, grass, succulent plants, nuts

Mating season typically runs from June-July and bears reach maturity around 3-5 years of age. Females give birth to 2-3 cubs in January and February. Cubs are born blind and naked and remain in the den with their mother until spring. Females usually give birth every other year and the cubs will remain with the mother for 1.5-2 years.

Cultural Connection
American black bears are a prominent feature among America’s indigenous people and many Native America tribes. For example, The Navajo believed that the Big Black Bear was chief among the bears of the four directions surrounding Sun’s house, and would pray to it in order to be granted its protection during raids.

Conservation Status
Least Concern