We had seen signs of them, but this is the first time we have actually seen a black bear. It is great to see it able to cross through the fence that was altered to be wildlife friendly for passage under and over.
“California’s black bear population has increased over the past 25 years. In 1982, the statewide bear population was estimated to be between 10,000 and 15,000. Presently, the statewide black bear population is conservatively estimated to be between 30,000 and 40,000. Black bears vary in color from tan or brown to black. Typically they are dark brown with a brown muzzle and, occasionally, a small white chest patch. Adult females weigh 100 – 200 pounds whereas adult males are larger, at 150 – 350 pounds, though individuals over 600 pounds have been taken by hunters in California. Two subspecies of black bear are recognized in California, the northwestern black bear (Ursus americana altifrontalis) and the California black bear (U. a. californiensis).
Bears commonly consume ants and other insects in summer, but prefer nut crops, especially acorns, and manzanita berries in the fall. As omnivores, black bears will eat whatever seems edible. Mostly they are plant eaters, but they have been reported catching and consuming young deer fawns. Bears frequently adapt to human presence, often because bears are attracted to human garbage, pet food and other food items. In suburban areas and mountain communities, bears may damage private property while foraging. These events are most likely to occur in spring if natural foods are scarce, or in late summer and fall, especially during years of poor berry and acorn yields.”
Information from: CA Department of Fish and Wildlife, https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Black-Bear/Population