The black bear, the smallest of the American bears, seldom attains over five feet in length or over 500 pounds in weight. Encroaching civilization has greatly reduced the bear population in this country since the first English settlers arrived. In North Carolina the black bear population is around 5,000. North Carolina has placed the bears on the list of protected game animals to keep them from becoming extinct in the state. Amundson discusses the bear's coloration, behavior, breeding habits, food habits, enemies, management, and hunting.