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David Petersen
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Mark — Down here in the southern Rockies most of our black bears are some other color than black, which is a rarity in fact. Most common is some shade of brown, often so far they almost appear black, like this little sow. Cinnamon and blonde are also fairly common. On top of that confusion, the long winter hair often bleaches to almost white in den, so that when they emerge in spring they appear blond, but as time goes on and the old hair rubs off they “turn” another color, that is, their true underfur color is revealed. Thus the term “color phase” for black bears. On this one you can see the fringe or remaining long bleached winter hair on her back. She small, under 200 pounds and not fat. Nursing two yearling cubs. Here are some more pics …

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