Georgia’s Wildlife: The American Black Bears

The American black bear (Ursus americanus) is a medium-sized bear endemic to North America. In Georgia, black bear populations exist in the north Georgia mountains, along the Ocmulgee River drainage in central Georgia, and in/around the Okefenokee Swamp in southeast Georgia.

American black bears have better eyesight and hearing than humans, and they can smell about seven times more sensitive than a domestic dog. Black bears are excellent and strong swimmers, and they are known to be swimming for pleasure as well to feed on fish. They regularly climb trees to feed, or to escape enemies.

If you are hiking in Georgia’s wilderness areas you might be lucky seeing a black bear. Sightings of Georgia’s native black bears typically begin to pick up in the spring but you may even see bear activity on warmer winter days. Despite black bears tend to be friendly and will not attack humans unless provoked, please take all security measures and do not disturb the animals.

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