Spotting black bears happen more frequently in Waterton than spotting grizzly bears. Though they are called black bears, their coat can vary in color from white through chocolate-brown, cinnamon-brown and blonde. The distinct differences from the black bear and its cousin the grizzly bear are the ears of the black bear are bigger and more upright, and it lacks a prominent shoulder hump. The black bear is also relatively smaller than the grizzly.
Look for them on open slopes, in forested areas, along roadsides, climbing trees and where ever food is available. The black bear's natural diet includes grasses, roots, and berries, but since their proximity to humans they have discovered easy meals in garbage cans and campgrounds. Their hearing and eyesight are good, but they maximize their sense of smell and they can run at speeds up to 30 miles per hour (48 km/h). Fortunately, black bears are generally timid and prefer to flee rather than fight.