Photos: The bear minimum

A black bear cub was caught playing and eating outside city limits on Saturday. Black bear mating takes place anytime from June through July. At other times they are usually solitary except for sows with cubs. Cubs usually remain with their mother through the first winter following birth. Black bears occupy most islands in Southeast Alaska except Admiralty, Baranof, Chichagof and Kruzof, largely due to the fact those islands have brown bears. Spring feeding consists of freshly sprouted green vegetation. They will eat winter-killed animals and prey on newborn moose calves. As summer progresses feeding shifts to salmon. In areas without salmon bears rely primarily on vegetation. Berries, especially blueberries, are an important late summer and fall food item. Ants, grubs, and other insects help to round out their diet. Adult males may occasionally prey on their own young.


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