The Lake Superior Zoo welcomed a new member to the family  last month with addition of an 8 year old Black Bear named Syke.  He came from the MN Zoo where he lived with his siblings, Syke  was orphaned as a cub and couldn't live on his own in the wild.

Many people in the Northland have run into black bears which are pretty common around here, but the very first one I ever saw in person was just a few month ago. I was driving up Woodland Avenue approaching the Hartley Nature Center when this big bouncing figure came flying out of the bushes and ran across the road at first I thought it was a dog but as I got closer I realized it was a black bear. I was shook, even though I was not in any danger to see this magnificent creature up close was crazy.

Black bears can be found throughout North America and live in wooded areas with dense cover. In Minnesota, this species of bear is mostly found up north which makes the Northland a perfect spot to settle down. They can weigh up to 600 pounds and Syke weighs over 400 pounds!

Black bears are usually solitary animals with the exception of breeding season and a mother taking care of her cubs. Black bears are omnivores they eat fruit, bugs, plants, fish, and more.

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Here are some other interesting Bear Facts from The Lake Superior Zoo:

  • Black bears have short claws which makes them expert climbers!

  • Even though they are large animals, black bears can run up to 25 mph.

  • Bears hibernate in the wild, but not necessarily in protective care at zoos. They have access to food year round, making it not necessary to sleep the winter away!

The Zoo is now open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.! Make sure to stop by and say hello to Syke!

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