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If you have yet to see a black bear up close, you're missing an exquisite example of nature's beauty and majesty.
Here in the Skylands region of New Jersey some residents can catch a glimpse right in their own backyards.
Females range from 200 to 300 pounds and males are 350 to as much as 600 pounds depending on age, availability of food and time of the year.
They are not necessarily black, but may be brown or even cinnamon-colored. They are generally solitary animals except for breeding and raising their young.
They will need 50 to 60 pounds of fat to sustain them through the winter months.
Black bear prefer to live in dense cover, such as forests, cedar swamps, thickets, brush and clear cuts populated with saplings.
Their choice of home range is determined by the types and availability of food.
Humans have taken over much of the bear's original habitat.
The loss of their homes has forced the bears to adapt to humans.