The most striking difference between this bear and the common black bear is that the cinnamon bear has reddish-brown fur.
These bears live in areas ranging from Southwestern Canada and the Northwestern United States. Cinnamon bears have also been spotted in Eastern Washington, Eastern Oregon, Idaho, Western Montana, Western Wyoming, Eastern Colorado, and Northeastern Utah.
Cinnamon bears share many of the same characteristics as other species of black bears. For example, the cinnamon bear is similar in shape and size to the common American black bear.
It is about 3 feet high when on all 4 (to the shoulder) and it can weigh anywhere between 200 to 600 pounds. These bears have a thicker coat of longer and finer fur than the common black bear.
Like other American black bear subspecies, cinnamon bears are omnivorous mammals. However, the majority of their diet consists of vegetation, nuts, and honey. They eat insects and meat when available.
Female cinnamon bears are mature enough to reproduce from 4 to 5 years while male cinnamon bears mature at 5 to 6 years.
Their gestation period lasts about 235 days and they give birth to 2 or 3 cubs (though, usually on one if its the first time). The cubs weigh approximately 230 grams (8 oz) at birth.
The mother and cubs remain together for 16-17 months. Then, the family members separate, the mother mates again, and the 2-year cycle repeats.
Though cinnamon bears are not considered endangered, there is an increased threat due to poaching, often to supply Asian markets with bear galls and paws for use in medicine. There is some risk from hunting and also from collisions with road and rail transport.
Interesting Facts About Cinnamon Bears
- Cinnamon bears are excellent climbers, good runners, and powerful swimmers.
- Cinnamon bears are nocturnal animals, though they are sometimes active during daylight hours.
- The bears hibernate during the winter months, usually from late October or November to March or April, depending on the regional weather.
- Cubs are born in winter and nestle in their mother’s fur for warmth and to nurse.
- The average life span for a cinnamon bear is a maximum of 30 years.
- Their scat (poo) resembles that of domestic dogs.