Letters: Bear facts

A little information on what different bears in B.C. eat

In saying bears are 80 per cent non-carnivore in diet, I think your interviewee is speaking of black bears around here. Polar bears are primarily carnivores (mostly eating seals for example). Grizzly bears are probably in between black and polar in diet.

Location may matter, especially opportunity. The black bear family includes colourings of brown, cinnamon, gray (bluish), and white (Kermode) as well as the black we see here – colour resulting from a minor gene difference (recessive in the case of white). The Kermode eat a lot of salmon in season, I don’t know what their diet averages out to (they get an orange tinge in their fur due to something the salmon get from the water). Cinnamon and grey live north in Alaska so might also have access to fish. West of you black bears might eat salmon in season if they are smart (critters vary in feeding smarts, black bears seem to do well in general).

Keith Sketchley

Saanich BC