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A medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most common bear species. Black bears are omnivores, with their diets varying greatly depending on season and location. They typically live in largely forested areas, but do leave forests in search of food. Sometimes they become attracted to human communities because of the immediate availability of food. The American black bear is listed by the IUCN as Least Concern, due to the species' widespread distribution and a large global population estimated to be twice that of all other bear species combined. American black bears often mark trees using their teeth and claws as a form of communication with other bears, a behavior common to many species of bears.
Historically, black bears occupied the majority of North America's forested regions. Today, they are primarily limited to sparsely settled, forested areas.
While taking a hike to Grotto Falls in the Smokey Mountains outside Gatlinburg, TN. I happened upon this Black Bear approx. 30 yards off the trail. I has only able to snap a few shots and most blurred as it moved off deeper into the forest. This was my first of 3 bear sightings this trip. will post others asap.