June 25 2018 Bear wildlife tour with Beachcomber Ocean Tours. There are days when you go out on a tour looking for a specific animal, in this case we were looking for black bears. Mother nature never ceases to amaze us, not only did we see black bears but we watched a black-tailed deer walking along the shore.
BC boasts one of the highest populations of black bears in the world with numbers between 120 150 thousand. Pretty much all of BC is considered “bear country” with bears inhabiting coastal forests to the interior grasslands. Black bears are not always black their colour can be everything from the white Kermode bear to a variety of shades of brown. Vancouver Island bears are considered to be slightly larger and blacker than mainland bears.
*Adult males are about 60-90 cm at shoulder height and weigh anywhere from 80-300 kg. Adult females weigh about 30-70 kg. At birth a cub can weigh less than one quarter a kg.
*Black bears are omnivores and opportunistic feeders. Their diet consist mostly of: insects, nuts, berries, grass and other vegetation. Salmon is a staple in the Vancouver Island bear diet. It is the salmon that provides the much needed fat and protein that will carry them through the winter hibernation.
*Mating takes place every two years, in the summer months of June, July and August. Pregnancy lasts about 220 days with the cubs being born in January and February. Litters range from 1 to 5 cubs, though 2 is the average and if there are more than 2 they rarely survive. Cubs stay with their mothers for up to 2 years.
BC is home to 3 types of deer, mule deer, black-tailed deer and white-tailed deer. The mule deer is the most widely distributed of the three but the deer we see here are coastal black-tailed deer. Black-tailed deer are smaller than mule deer, bucks weigh 60-90 kg and does 40-65 kg. The bucks antlers are usually shed in January. Gestation is about 200 days with the fawns being born in early June. The black-tailed deer are superb swimmers and as a result inhabit many coastal islands.