Black Bears in Utah

Unlike the grizzly, the black bear is still fairly common in the large forested areas of Utah. Rarely black, instead they can be blonde or chocolate brown.

Light colored black bear

The History of Bears in Utah

Utah was once home to two species of bear, the Black Bear and the Grizzly Bear. The Grizzly was extirpated by the 1920s, but the Black Bear is still fairly common in the large forested areas of the state. In Utah, bear hunting with bows is a popular sport.

Aren’t Black Bears Black?

In Utah, black bears are rarely black, instead they can be blonde, light brown, reddish or chocolate brown but may appear black in the shade or other low light conditions. Even though the photos and video on this page show a light brown bear, a blonde bear, and a dark brown bear, they are actually the same kind of Black Bear.

Blonde-colored Black Bear

About Utah’s Black Bears

Food: Black Bears survive on fruits, nuts, small insects and grubs, as well as scavenging for carrion.

Offspring: One or two cubs appear in January or February and stay with mom for about 18 months.

Activity: Look for them at night and in any season except winter, when they hibernate.

Population: Although it has lived on the continent for two million years, destruction of habitat and hunting put it on Utah’s protected species list in 1967.

A Utah Black Bear Up Close