American black bear, Shenandoah National Park, 2015.
Bears live in more than 130 of our nation's parks. NOTE: never approach a bear, especially in a tree. Do not stand below a tree containing a bear. Enjoy the park and trees but "Be Bear Aware". Black bears enjoy the wild cherry season in the park every fall. They will spend hours feeding and napping in cherry trees throughout the park. Cherries fill them up until they transition to acorns in autumn. American black bears (Ursus americanus) are North America's smallest and most widely distributed bear species. It is also the world's most common bear species, with a global population estimated at twice that of all other bear species combined. They typically live in forested areas but leave forests in search of food. They are omnivores with diets that vary widely by season and location, which contributes to their wide distribution. Unfortunately, they may become attracted to human communities due to immediate availability of food.