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Meet Mogie & Blue

American Black Bears

Personal Info

Mogie and Blue were rescued as young cubs after their mother was killed at the Blue Ridge Reservoir, located in Arizona’s scenic Mongolian Rim area. Too young to survive without a sow, they were picked up by the Arizona Department of Game and Fish. The cubs were then relocated to their permanent home at Out of Africa Wildlife Park. They warmed up to park staff and visitors surprisingly fast. As with all young bear cubs, they are highly food-motivated and always playful. Mogie is brown in color while Blue sports a black coat. These two siblings each display wonderful and unique personalities in very entertaining fashion.


The American black bear is distributed throughout North America, from Canada to Mexico and in at least 40 states in the U.S. They historically occupied nearly all of the forested regions of North America. In the U.S. they are restricted to the forested areas less densely occupied by humans. In Canada, black bears still inhabit most of their historic range except for the intensively farmed areas of the central plains. In Mexico, black bears were thought to have inhabited the mountainous regions of the northern states but are now limited to a few remnant populations.


The skulls of American black bears are broad with narrow muzzles and large jaw hinges. Females tend to have more slender and pointed faces than males. Their claws are typically black or grayish brown and short and rounded, being thick at the base and tapering to a point. Claws from both hind and front legs are almost identical in length—about 1 ½ inches. The relatively short claws enable the black bear to climb trees with ease.

Life Cycle

The average lifespan in the wild is 18 years, though it is quite possible for wild specimens to survive for more than 23 years. The record age of a wild specimen was 31 years, while that in captivity was 44 years. Typically, black bears will live up to 35 years in captivity.


Black bears are extremely adaptable and show a great variation in habitat types, though they are primarily found in forested areas with thick ground vegetation and an abundance of fruits, nuts, and vegetation. In the northern areas, they can be found in the tundra, and they will sometimes forage in fields or meadows. Black bears tend to be solitary animals, with the exception of mothers and cubs. The bears usually forage alone but will tolerate each other and forage in groups if there is an abundance of food in one area.


Black bears are very opportunistic eaters. Most of their diet consists of grasses, roots, berries, and insects. In northern regions, they eat spawning salmon. They will also eat fish and mammals—including carrion—and easily develop a taste for human foods and garbage. Bears who become habituated to human food at campsites, cabins, or rural homes can become dangerous and are often killed—thus the frequent reminder: Please don’t feed the bears!


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