The perimeter fence at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, in Florida may be doing a great job at keeping unwanted humans out but when it comes to black bears its pretty inadequate! In this short clip we see a bear scale the fence with ease. It has probably raided the air base looking for some food and is now making its way back into the woods! Just like an expert Ninja!
Black Bears in Florida
As the name suggests, the North American black bear is a native species of North America. They are a medium-sized bear and are the most widespread bear on the North American continent and the most numerous species of bear on the planet. They have a thickset but compact build and are not always black! Some are dark red, brown or light tan and their coat is short and thick. Their muzzle is pointed, their eyes are small and they have pointed ears. The best way to differentiate them from the brown bear is the lack of a prominent shoulder hump.
These guys are known to be very agile climbers and this can be attributed to their short legs and claws which enable them to haul themselves up vertical surfaces.
Intruder at the Air Base
Like all bear species, black bears have an excellent sense of smell and this allows them to detect food. They are also not that fussy about what they eat! Even though they are classed as a carnivore, most of their diet is vegetarian. They eat fruit, nuts, grasses and bulbs. They need a lot of food and spend a lot of their time eating. Black bears also eat fish and insects and, more importantly, are also willing to eat processed human foods. For them, our food presents an energy-rich, easily accessible snack.
This may seem cute but it is potentially problematic both for the bears and humans. The bears are in danger of ingesting food-packaging that could make them ill. Also, if they spend a lot of time around human settlements, they could get hit by vehicles.
Bears that have spent a lot of time in urban areas may lose their fear of humans. This can make them bolder and more aggressive as they attempt to get at human food making them a danger to humans.
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