Black Bears Get in Extra Work and Spend the Early Morning Putting Around

Written by Sammi Caramela
Published: September 8, 2023
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A recent viral video shows a group of three black bears (one adult and two cubs) playing on a golf course. In the video, which was recorded at around 4:45 a.m., two small cubs are play-fighting, taking turns standing on two legs and swatting at each other. Other parts of the video show the cubs playing with the flag and golf balls on the course.

The adult bear, which is said to be the mama bear (according to the video), is shown lying down on her back, rolling around, and tossing a ball around. Essentially, she’s keeping herself entertained, seemingly having the time of her life during the early morning hours. You can watch the full video at the end of this article.

Are Black Bears Nocturnal?

Experts cannot agree on whether bears are nocturnal, diurnal, or crepuscular. However, they are typically most active during dusk and dawn, as demonstrated in the video. Additionally, many bears will become nocturnal to avoid contact with humans and even other bears. 

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Are Bears Playful?

Yes, bears can be quite playful — just like humans. In fact, bears share many positive qualities with humans, such as empathy, fear, and joy. Additionally, bears have different personalities (just like our pets!), and cubs can be especially playful. In fact, having cubs often makes adult bears more playful as well. Other reasons bears play include an abundance of food and courtship. Also, male bears are more likely to play than female bears.

Black Bears - bear with cubs

Black bears might be aggressive when cubs are present.

©Debbie Steinhausser/

Are Black Bears Aggressive?

No, black bears are not typically aggressive, even when you come into close contact with them. However, this is quite rare, as they’re afraid of humans. While mother black bears might get protective over their cubs, they typically will not attack a human unprovokedly. 

Do Bears Play With Humans?

Typically, bears are too shy to approach or interact with humans. In fact, they usually attempt to stay away from people unless they’re forced to be near them. In those cases, if a human gets too close, they’ll likely feel more defensive than playful. However, it’s still cute and endearing to watch these creatures play with each other from afar — as shown in the video below. 

Watch the Adorable Video of Black Bears Playing on a Golf Course

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Dolores M. Harvey/

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About the Author

Sammi is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering cats, nature, symbolism, and spirituality. Sammi is a published author and has been writing professionally for six+ years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Writing Arts and double minors in Journalism and Psychology. A proud New Jersey resident, Sammi loves reading, traveling, and doing yoga with her little black cat, Poe.

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