View Full Version : What type of bear is this?

phil mcwilliam
September 7, 2009, 05:02 AM
A friend sent me this photo of a bear in a tree right outside her house in Colorado. As I'm not from the States, could you tell me if its a big black bear, or a brown? Not even sure if you get browns in Colorado?

September 7, 2009, 05:27 AM

September 7, 2009, 06:27 AM
That is a black bear. Yes, it is brown in color, a cinnamon black bear. Black bears can be cinnamon (brown), blonde, blue (known as a glacier bear), and of course, black. Brown bears are not found in Colorado.

September 7, 2009, 07:27 AM
Yeah, what roklok said.


September 7, 2009, 08:49 AM
Black I don't think you are supposed to see a brown in a tree.

September 7, 2009, 10:23 AM
It does look like a cinnamon color faze black bear and Griz/browns can climb a tree. Watched a griz on tv follow her cubs up about 50 feet . It was on some nut case that feeds bears at his home in alaska.

September 7, 2009, 10:24 AM
It's a black bear. As roklok said, they can be brown in color.

September 7, 2009, 10:41 AM
Chocolate phase Black Bear and a decent one at that.He looks comfy

September 7, 2009, 10:52 AM
Yup. Black bear. A handsome one.

September 7, 2009, 11:02 AM
I think I would've sent you a picture of me posing with him (post mortem of course). As others have said, it's a black bear. There aren't any Brown (Grizzly) Bears that far south. They start at about north-central Wyoming.

September 7, 2009, 12:12 PM
It's an ursus americanus, or american black bear, as a couple others have said. I shot a bear that looks very similar to that last October. She's hanging on my wall now.


September 7, 2009, 12:43 PM
That would be a lazy bear. :D

September 7, 2009, 02:43 PM
Good link to black bear colors (http://www.americanbear.org/FUR.htm),

The most definitive identifier of the brown bear seen in the wild is the hump on the shoulders.

This white phase bear (http://www.americanbear.org/halo.htm) we saw at the bear sanctuary in 1998.

Halo was last sighted in May 1998. In 1999, the Minnesota Division of Natural Resources passed a permanent regulation protecting all white-phased black bears from hunting. It is the hope of many people, that the rare genetic pool will be perpetuated and Minnesota will someday host a population of these extraordinary white bears.

There is thought that Halo phased back to a darker color.
In late august there can be upwards of 65 bear's at the sanctuary. Some are so fat that their belly drags the ground. The website seems to not show any of those except for maybe this one (http://www.americanbear.org/bear-photographs/PS/1/).
I had 3 grandchildren there under 4 years of age at the time Halo was seen there. There were about 20 photographer there trying to get a shot of Halo with there big cameras, My 3 cubs caused them some indigestion:D, The staff thought they should act like they were in church, and told me that the boys were making the bears nervous.
I had to disagree and offered that all the photographers were the nervous ones.

September 7, 2009, 10:02 PM
re: the hump. The first thing that should stand out in this picture is the shape of the ears and the lack of a dished snout.

I don't know about Alaska, Idaho or Wy, but in Montana, you are required to take an initial test on line to identify black vs grizzly bears. I believe this ' has been done to reduce the amount of "accidental" shooting of grizzlies. I believe, it was a pre-emptive move by FWP for good pr. Check it out for future reference if you're ever in Grizzly country:


On a similar note:

Some genius from out of state a few years ago, took his cow elk to the taxidermist only to be informed he had shot a llama. He must have been proud.

last note: for lower 48 standards, this was quite a bear


September 7, 2009, 10:15 PM
Definitely a Black Bear. They come in many color shades and don't have to be Black. No Griz that far down anyway.

phil mcwilliam
September 8, 2009, 03:28 AM
Thanks for the replys & informative links. I got a follow-up email from my friend today & she confirmed what you guys said in that it was a black bear & they don't get browns that far south. She said there are heaps of bears around at the moment.

September 8, 2009, 06:02 AM
It's Yogi!!!

Black bear. :)

srt 10 jimbo
September 9, 2009, 12:45 PM
Black Bears Climb Tree's. Grizzly's shake you out of them.:D

September 9, 2009, 01:26 PM
Black Bears Climb Tree's. Grizzly's shake you out of them.I once read somewhere that the browns often get all in big rush to maul you then go away, while the blacks like to take their time, do a thorough job of it. Fun as it sounds, I don't think I'm gonna try and mythbust this one.... at this juncture anyway. :D

September 9, 2009, 01:29 PM
The kind that surprisingly kill more people: A Black Bear

September 9, 2009, 11:12 PM
Some genius from out of state a few years ago, took his cow elk to the taxidermist only to be informed he had shot a llama.

That has happened at least twice now in MT. Several years ago an airman from Malstrom AFB in Great Falls bagged a Hutterite colony guard llama. He was told of his mistake at the F&G check point.

The last one was 2008/09 hunting season. A out of stater shot a "feral llama". He supposedly realized his mistake and turned himself in.

Those llamas in Montana get pretty big! :D