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Bears in the Everglades

Alligators, panthers, birds and….bears? Oh my!

When thinking of all the animals that live in the Everglades, the Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus) may not be the first to come to mind. Though you can’t get close to them on a trail or in an animal encounter, it is important to bring them into the public eye for safety purposes as well as to assist with conservation efforts.

Florida black bears are the largest terrestrial mammal with an average weight of 300 pounds though some have been known to grow up to 500 pounds and can be up to 6 feet tall! There is a possibility of potentially catching sight of a bear during one of our tours, these creatures love to live in the forested sloughs and oak scrub in the Everglades. Their long, sharp claws help them climb trees or dig for food. Bears are omnivores, meaning they eat both vegetable and animal matter. Some foods a black bear may eat include acorns, insects, berries, saw palmetto and sabal palm fruits, armadillos and honey.

Like many other animal populations, the Florida black bear needs protection to ensure that they can live peacefully and continue to be members of the Everglades ecosystem.