Black bears living in and around urban areas are up to a third less active and weigh up to thirty percent more than bears living in wild areas, according to a recent study by scientists from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
The study, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Zoology says that black bears are spending less time hunting for natural food, which can consist of everything from berries up to adult deer. Instead, they are choosing to forage in dumpsters behind fast-food restaurants, shopping centers, and suburban homes, often eating their fill in far less time than it would take to forage or hunt prey.
"Black bears in urban areas are putting on weight and doing less strenuous activities," said WCS biologist Dr. Jon Beckmann, the lead author of the study. "Theyre hitting the local dumpster for dinner, then calling it a day."
Stephen Sautner | Wildlife Conservation Society
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