Sunday, November 29, 2020
   
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Diet

hraneneBears are predators by nature, vegetarians by preference and omnivorous by necessity. About 75 percent of their diet is strictly plant: ripe forest fruits, berries, plums, beech acorns, seeds, mushrooms, roots, polipody, corn, even grass.

A bear’s menu varies from one season to another, depending on what would require minimal effort on the part of the animal. A thorough scavenger, it gathers and eats anything it can lay its paws on. In autumn, when there is abundant food, the bear is in a feeding frenzy, reaching its maximum body weight and stockpiling energy that would allow it to spend the winter hibernating, without food.

In springtime, the bear develops a ‘carnivorous’ appetite, feeding on insects and their larvae, mostly ants and bees, but also on snails, worms, fish, frogs, small rodents, birds and eggs. Stray or freely grazing domestic animals can also fall prey to a hungry bear. Bears are poor hunters of wild hoofed mammals, but they would not miss carrion from another predator’s kill and would carefully cover the leftovers with twigs and branches, ‘for later’.

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