The only bear species that makes its home in Massachusetts is the black bear (Ursus americanus). It is the largest meat-eating mammal in New England, occasionally reaching weights of 500 pounds. They also eat berries, nuts, flowers, fruits, and succulent grasses (including corn) as well as garbage.
Black bears hibernate in the winter, but have the ability to wake up should danger strike. When necessary, black bears can run 32 miles an hour and climb trees nearly as fast as a squirrel. They are great swimmers and love to play in water during the warm weather. In the wild they can live to be about 25 years old. Learn More
Conflicts between people and bears are becoming more commonplace as land is developed in or near bears’ preferred habitats. As black bears lose their preferred feeding and denning sites to development, they must move greater distances to find food (and often in residential areas). Find out how to keep black bears away and what to do if you encounter one.