Folklore : Perhaps no other animals have so excited the human imagination as bears. References to bears are found in ancient and modern literature, folk songs, legends, mythology, children stories, and cartoons. Bears are among the first animals that children learn to recognize. Bear folklore is confusing because it is based on caricatures, with Teddy Bears and the kindly Smokey on one hand and ferocious magazine cover drawings on the other.
Hibernation and Behavior
The awe-inspiring brown bear lives in the forests and mountains of northern North America, Europe, and Asia. It is the most widely distributed bear in the world. The world's largest brown bears are found in coastal British Columbia and Alaska , and on islands such as Kodiak. These omnivorous giants tend to be solitary animals, except for females and their cubs , but at times they do congregate. Dramatic gatherings can be seen at prime Alaskan fishing spots when the salmon swim upstream for summer spawning. In this season dozens of bears may gather to feast on the fish, craving fats that will sustain them through the long winter ahead. In fall a brown bear may eat as much as 90 pounds of food each day, and it may weigh twice as much before hibernation as it will in spring.
This medium-sized bear is usually black with a brown muzzle, lacks a shoulder hump, and often has a white patch on the chest. Although black is the predominant color, chocolate and cinnamon brown color phases are also common, which often results in people confusing them with brown bears. Black bears with white and pale-blue coats known respectively as Kermode and glacier bears also occur in small numbers.
Understanding bear behaviour is an essential part of creating safe environments for both bears and people. More often than not, bear behaviour is misinterpreted. People all too often interpret what a bear does in terms of their own fear.