The word “bear” is an Old English word, meaning “bright brown.” The bear that a person living in North America is most likely to run into is the black bear. They live in wooded areas in every Canadian province, many U.S. states, and parts of Mexico. Because bears can walk short distances on their hind legs, some Native Americans called them “the beast that walks like a man.” Only the polar bear is a true carnivore, all other bears are omnivores, that eat both plants and meat. Bears are very smart and have been known to roll rocks into bear traps to set off the trap and eat the bait in safety. These animals can run up to 40 miles per hour, fast enough to catch a running horse. A bear’s normal heartbeat is 40 beats per minute. A hibernating bear’s heart rate drops to 8 bpm. Back in the days, lumber companies felt they had no choice but to kill the black bears in Washington State that were eating the bark from trees. However, once someone thought to put piles of food in the forest, the bears stopped eating the trees, and were happy to eat the free food. We should always try to coexist.