Are there a lot of bears in West Virginia?

American black bear, (Ursus americanus) Most visitors who see black bears in West Virginia are simply lucky, but you can increase your chances if you know where to look. In the United States there are estimated to be over 300,000 black bears and approximately 8,000 individuals bears in West Virginia.

Are bears a problem in West Virginia?

For many people, bears have become an animal to respect and enjoy instead of a nuisance to eliminate. The black bear population in West Virginia is now considered statewide, and bears have been harvested in 46 of the 55 counties in recent years.

Where are there bears in WV?

Official State Animal of West Virginia

Black bears are found in all of West Virginia’s 55 counties. The black bear is also the state mammal of Louisiana and the state animal of New Mexico.

What counties in WV have bears?

The top five counties were Fayette (76), Nicholas (59), Raleigh (55), Preston (55) and Boone (53). Firearms hunters harvested 2,442 bears in 2020.

Are there grizzly bears in WV?

The American black bear is the only bear known to inhabit West Virginia, and they are not regarded as aggressive in comparison to the distantly related polar bears and grizzly bears. … Today, most of the remaining grizzly bears in North America are in Alaska and western Canada.

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Are there mountain lions in West Virginia?

The mountain lion no longer exists here in West Virginia at least in a naturally reproducing state.” That said, however, Johansen adds that when he hears the occasional story about a sighting in West Virginia he doesn’t doubt them.

Are black bears aggressive?

In most cases, black bears are relatively shy, only acting aggressively as a last resort. Nevertheless, the most effective way to avoid a bear attack is by preventing encounters in the first place. Just because black bears can be less dangerous than other large carnivores doesn’t mean fatal attacks don’t happen.

Are they wolves in WV?

Gray wolves have been extirpated in West Virginia since 1900. Wolves are the largest members of the Canidae family and are closely related to coyotes, foxes and jackals, officials said. … In addition to the gray wolf pups, the Wildlife Center is home to nearly 30 species of native and once-native species, officials said.

How common are bears in West Virginia?

In the United States there are estimated to be over 300,000 black bears and approximately 8,000 individuals bears in West Virginia. If you are lucky enough to see a bear in West Virginia, remember that West Virginia bears are wild. Please do not approach them and never give them food.

How big are black bears in WV?

Adult black bears typically weigh 100-300 pounds, but males can exceed 500 pounds. Bears are agile and quick, and they are excellent climbers. They are typically nocturnal and generally avoid people, but also readily adapt to and tolerate people.

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What to do if you see a black bear?

Stand and face the bear directly. Never run away from or approach him. Make yourself look as big as possible by spreading your arms or, better yet, a coat. Make as much noise as possible by yelling, banging pots and pans or using other noisemaking devices.

What wildlife does West Virginia have?

The most common animals you’re likely to see are rabbits, gray foxes, opossums, skunks, raccoons, black bears, white-tail deer, and squirrels. Eastern coyotes, red foxes, ermines, and weasels live all over the state. The mountain streams are home to trout, walleyes, perches, bluegills, and catfish.

Are black bears common in West Virginia?

The black bear population in West Virginia has grown from 500 or less in the 1960s and ’70s to a “conservative estimate” of 12,000-14,000 today, Carpenter said. Most of the bears — the state animal — used to be concentrated in National Forest areas of the eastern mountains of the state.