Discover Nature: Be Bear Aware | KBIA

Discover Nature: Be Bear Aware

May 1, 2016

Wildflowers and warm weather signify the arrival of spring in Missouri and one of the state’s largest, heaviest wild mammals enjoys the season as much as we do. This week on Discover Nature, we recognize National Bear Awareness Month.

A black bear photographed from a safe distance.
Credit Missouri Department of Conservation

Black bears mate through June, but reproductive development pauses for 6-to-7 months, until bears enter hibernation.  Mother bears birth litters of 2-to-3 cubs in January and February, sometimes while the mother still sleeps. 

Black bears are omnivores, but as they emerge in spring, they feed heavily on green vegetation to restart their digestive system.  

Bears rarely pose a threat to people until they lose their natural fear of humans.  Feeding bears – either intentionally or unintentionally – can cause them to associate people with food, making them dangerous. 

Avoid attracting bears, and learn what to do if you encounter one in the wild by visiting

Discover Nature is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation.