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Food Preference Testing of Captive Black Bears
Ellis S. Bacon and Gordon M. Burghardt
Bears: Their Biology and Management
Vol. 5, A Selection of Papers from the Fifth International Conference on Bear Research and Management, Madison, Wisconsin, USA, February 1980 (1983), pp. 102-105
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3872525
Page Count: 4
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A method was developed to test food preferences of 2 young captive female black bears (Ursus americanus) under controlled conditions. Two sets of food items (5 native and 7 non-native) were tested biweekly for 1 year in a seminatural enclosure in Tennessee. The bears exhibited definite preferences among both sets of foods. The preferences were significantly correlated between the bears and were consistent throughout the year. In the native food test, acorns (Quercus alba) were the most preferred. In the non-native food test, fish (Ictiobus sp.) was the most preferred food. The foods most highly preferred were rich in either protein or carbohydrates.
Bears: Their Biology and Management © 1983 International Association for Bear Research and Management