Black Bear in summer © Alvin Laasanen
Black Bear © Alvin Laasanen

The only bear species that makes its home in Massachusetts is the black bear (Ursus americanus). They 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. Get to know them > 

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 find it in residential areas. What to do if you encounter a bear >