Bear Black — The American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) is the most common bear species native to North America. It lives throughout much of the continent, from northern Canada and Alaska south into Mexico, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This includes 41 of the 50 U.S. states and all Canadian provinces except Prince Edward Island. Populations in the east-central and southern United States remain in the protected mountains and woodlands of parks and preserves, though bears will occasionally wander outside the parks’ boundaries and have set up new territories, in some cases on the margins of urban environments in recent years as their populations increase. Although there were probably once as many as two million black bears in North America long before European colonization, the population declined to a low of 200,000 as a result of habitat destruction and unrestricted hunting. By current estimates, more than 800,000 are living today on the continent.
The Asiatic Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus or Selenarctos thibetanus), also known as the Tibetan black bear, the Himalayan black bear, or the moon bear, is a medium sized, sharp-clawed, black-coloured bear with a distinctive white or cream “V” marking on its chest. It is a close relative of the American black bear with which it is thought to share a European common ancestor.
The bear has been known to be quite aggressive towards human beings (more so than the American black bear); there have been numerous records of bear attacks and killings. This is probably mainly due to the fact that the Asiatic Black Bear is more likely to come into contact with people, and will often attack if startled.