The black bear is the most common bear in North America. Given children have likely seen a black bear on television, at the zoo, or in the movies it’s no surprise that black bear plush would be part of a child’s ever growing stuffed animal collection. While no bear stuffed animal can ever take the place of the iconic teddy bear, since teddy bears were modelled after real bears in 1902, every species of bear stuffed animal will always have a place in the world of plush toys.
Black bears can be found from the northern tree limit of the Arctic down through most of Canada and the United States. Like the brown bear, it too likes forests with occasional open spaces. As its name suggests, this bears fur is often black, although it can be various shades of brown. It can be distinguished from the brown bear by the absence of a hump on its shoulders (which is common only to the brown bear).
Unlike most species of bear worldwide, the black bear is just one of two types of bear that is not in danger of becoming extinct. Because the black bear population is so numerous, it gives researchers a golden opportunity to study them, thus helping them also understand other species of bear. Amazingly, with much of the research attention paid to the giant panda (given their declining numbers), more is known about them (and how they reproduce) than the common black bear.
There is no denying how adorable black bear plush can be, after all, they are made of soft plush fur, and as a result, conducive to lots of hugging. While the real thing may look just as inviting, any chance we would ever have of hugging a black bear are slim to none.
Female black bears typically give birth to two or three blind cubs in mid-winter. They are nursed inside their den until spring at which time the entire family comes above ground in search of food. Cubs weigh less than a pound and have very little fur they are totally dependant on their mother for survival. When they are 4 to 6 weeks old, cubs can crawl but can’t walk. It’s at this time as well that their eyes are either completely open or are beginning to open. Despite their solitary nature, black bears are very protective of their cubs and will stay with them for two years after they’re born.
To prepare for laying dormant in their dens during the winter season, black bears eat all summer long so as to build up their fat reserves. Black bears don’t actually hibernate but go into a very deep sleep for about 125 days. Dens are built in caves, burrows, or other types of sheltered areas. Given black bears are excellent tree climbers, they may also build a den in tree holes.
Like all bear species, black bears are fascinating animals. A child with black bear plush should take advantage of learning more about them if not for the sheer enjoyment of it, but simply to appreciate their stuffed animal even more. Black bear plush will be a friend for life, if that’s what you choose. Unlike in the wild, black bear plush won’t want to live a solitary existence they will expect lots of love, hugs, and cuddles. So, just like a mother with their cubs, be sure and take very good care of your black bear plush.
Angeline Hope is a collector of black bear plush toys. You can view a selection of teddy bears and even brown bear plush toys at MyBigPlush.