I wouldn’t play chess with a black bear!

I wouldn’t play chess with a black bear! Scientists agree these guys are highly intelligent with an incredible memory. It takes only one interaction for a bear to remember uniforms, vehicles, or to differentiate between people.

They have the ability to learn how to open doors, windows, and even high tech bear-safe containers. Curiosity plays a big role in what captures a bear attention, but the main drive of a bear is usually related to food.

Bears have the highest brain to body mass ratio in the carnivore family.  Some dub black bears as the most intelligent of the North American mammals. Black bears are extremely inquisitive and adaptive. A twenty year study done by scientists in British Columbia found black bear intelligence to be at the same level as a three-year-old child.

To further investigate intelligence of black bears, a study was conducted with black bears at the Alabama Mobile Zoo. This analysis showed that black bears can count! You can read all about the results on National Geographic’s website. Bears have also been witnessed using tools to reach food or get that hard-to-reach back itch. For those of us who don’t know how to play I wouldn’t put it past a bear to win that game of chess!

Lisa Wooden

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