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Simpson Street Free Press

Rare Black Bears from Mexico Move into South Texas

Scientists have found that East Mexican black bears are moving from Mexico to southern Texas. Although these creatures are at risk of extinction, there is hope because their numbers are increasing, leading to bears spreading into Texas.

The numbers of bears moving to southern Texas are unknown, but they are often found in forests around Texas and moving along the Rio Grande in Mexico. Black bears in Texas are on the endangered species list; in Mexico, they are listed as ‘in danger of extinction’. Fortunately, Mexican black bears can adapt to live in many different environments like forests or mountains.

These bears like to scavenge for their food and their behavior is driven by their excellent sense of smell. That's also why they prefer to live near humans as it’s easy to access garbage, pet food, and fruit in the wild black bears like to hunt. They often have a wide diet of pine nuts, acorns, insects, and small mammals.

Black bears are different from other bears in many ways. While other bears hibernate for three to four months, black bears do not. They like to stay in their nests, but they will come and go throughout the winter season. Black bears can also live in any climate, while most bears stick to living in one.

While black bears are endangered, their adaptive behavior and varied diet give hope for their survival in the future. Continued monitoring of their populations and migration will be important to understand their survival.

[Sources: Houston Chronicle; Texas Bear Alliance; bearconversation.org]

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