Explore the Wild: Black Bears
Located in Explore the Wild, the Museum’s black bear habitat is home to three American black bears (Ursus americanus). An observation deck provides unobstructed views of the black bear habitat while visitor-controlled zoom cameras offer guests the opportunity for a one-of-a-kind look at bear behavior.
Meet Our Bears
Just the Bear Facts
Each year, the Museum’s bears are fed approximately 4,000 pounds of bear chow, 500 pounds of nuts, and over 2,500 pounds of produce or dried fruit—in addition they dig up bugs and eat grass and other plants in their yard. While our bears often become sluggish and sometimes sleep for several days during the winter, it doesn’t actually get cold enough in North Carolina for them to hibernate. By the end of February or beginning of March, they are already starting to become more active!
Animal Enrichment at the Museum
Behavioral enrichment enhances the quality of animal care by providing environmental stimuli that encourage animals to express natural behaviors. For black bears this includes behaviors such as licking, clawing, or tearing. Animal care specialists use treat-filled logs, frozen fruit, and even giant watermelons as enrichment activities for our bears—all of which encourage behaviors similar to their wild relatives!