Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

SatJun 1

National Black Bear Day – June 1, 2024

It’s a ‘beary’ good day to celebrate National Black Bear Day on June 1 this year, which has been observed each year on the first Saturday in June for the sole pur-‘paws’ of teaching people about black bears and dispelling the myths surrounding them. This was the last pun, we promise. Just bear with us.

History of National Black Bear Day

Bears inhabited practically every continent when humans first made their way to North America. The grizzlies actually thrived in all western states, from Mexico to the tip of Alaska. The smaller black bear, a relative to the grizzly, was living in places as far-ranging as the Atlantic and the Pacific in North America, and Mexico to the northern edge of the continent. Since the black bear was a valuable source of thick hides for clothing and shelter, rich meat, and sweet fat for the Native Americans, we can see why they valued it and passed on the stories of these bears through their oral folktales.

The European settlers brought with them their fear of the wild and the animals that lived in it. These bears posed a threat to life, livestock, and crops and so they began killing them. Their fear made its way into popular children’s books at the time, which showed bears attacking hunters alongside other predators preying on their cattle. As is common with a human presence, forest land was wiped out to make space for open farmland, and the bears began losing their homes. The more the population expanded, the more black bears were killed for safety, food, or other purposes. Because they reproduced much slower than other mammals, the black bear population began to dwindle.

However, restoration programs and recovery of forest land saw their numbers go up again, with some states like New Jersey and Maryland reporting a five-fold increase. While these bears have not been able to reclaim their entire territory across North America, there is still a good number of black bears in the wild. In fact, they are listed as the least endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to their large population. While the bear population is expanding, so is the human population, to the extent that the two are coexisting in many areas.

The North Carolina Black Bear Festival founded National Black Bear Day to celebrate America’s black bear while trying to raise awareness about this animal and dispel all the myths and fear surrounding it.

National Black Bear Day timeline

15,000 Years Ago
The Humans Arrive

Humans enter North America for the first time — bears are all over the continent at this time.

European Colonization Begins in America

While Norse colonies had already been established in North America, systematic European colonization begins in this year.

Black Bear Numbers are Dwindling

The number of black bears in the wild is reduced to the point of extinction due to an explosion of human populations and habitat loss across America.

Hunting is Regulated

People begin to recognize the importance of black bears — hunting seasons become heavily controlled or closed altogether and bear restoration programs begin in some states.

1980s–21st Century
Black Bear Numbers Recover Rapidly

The black bear population increases 2% a year all over the continent due to reforestation, black bear reintroduction programs, and regulations on hunting black bears.

Residents Like Black Bears

A mail survey done in New York State reveals a majority of residents enjoy having black bears in their state.

Our Day is Here

National Black Bear Day is officially ordained as a celebration to be observed annually.

National Black Bear Day FAQs

How many black bears were left in the world by 2020?

Around 800,000 black bears roam the American continent and are gradually returning to their old territory.

Which national park has the most black bears?

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the southeastern part of the U.S. has the highest densities of black bears. Their population numbers approximately 1,500 black bears.

Which state has the most black bears?

Black bears are largely found in Alaskan forests, more than in any other U.S. state, which have an estimated population of 100,000 black bears or even more.

How To Celebrate National Black Bear Day

  1. Learn more about the American black bear

    National Black Bear Day is your chance to learn more about these magnificent animals and how you can coexist with them respectfully. Humans have a moral responsibility towards the conservation of nature and the animals that need it to survive. Learning more about this day, and the black bear, helps us realize what majestic creatures they are and how we only need to make a few minor adjustments to exist together.

  2. Take a trip to see black bears

    Live near a national park or animal preserve that has a black bear population? Make a field trip out of it and see these animals up close and personal — just not too close. If you can’t physically visit these animals, there are plenty of global reserves and many in America that provide animal cams to view these animals online at any time. Take a minute to observe these cuddly creatures in their natural habitat.

  3. Learn about black bear attacks

    Read up on what to do (and what not to do) in case of a black bear attack. For example, avoid feeding wild bears, don’t run or climb up trees if they chase you, and know that they usually always avoid humans unless they have no choice at all. They aren’t interested in eating humans — their food is 95% plant-based, although they do eat small animals like frogs and fish.

Fun Facts About National Black Bear Day

  1. Bears, bears, everywhere!

    The black bear can be found in 41 of the 50 U.S. states, at an estimated number of 800,000.

  2. Black bears are not always black

    They come in a range of colors, sometimes in the same litter, such as shades of cinnamon, blue/black, blue/grey, and, in rare instances, white.

  3. They are ‘super hibernators’

    In northern states, they can hibernate for up to eight months in the spring season but, in the southern regions, they hibernate for a shorter duration or not at all depending on food availability.

  4. They can climb trees

    These super dexterous animals are sometimes more comfortable on a tree than on the ground.

  5. North Carolina has the largest black bears

    According to black bear biologist Colleen Olfenbuttel, North Carolina’s coastal regions have the largest black bears on the planet, probably because they have access to high protein crops and enjoy mild winters.

Why We Love National Black Bear Day

  1. We learn about nature’s gifts

    A day dedicated to the black bear is an amazing way to build awareness about this animal, its history, and how our actions impact it. The more we learn, the more we can help to conserve this gift from nature so future generations can enjoy it too.

  2. It dispels myths about black bears

    If you see a black bear today, you shouldn’t scream and run for your life (they can outrun you easily), nor should you be ‘aww-ing’ and walking towards it. National Black Bear Day helps us understand the animals we share our nation with, and reduces our chances of causing damage to ourselves and the bears.

  3. Avoid accidents

    As you’ve read this article, you have probably learned more than you knew yesterday. That makes you more informed about bears than you previously were and, hopefully, wiser in terms of the ways in which to act around them. While this day works towards dispelling the scary myths about these animals, it also helps us avoid bear-related accidents by teaching us common rules to follow in the presence of a black bear.

National Black Bear Day dates

2022June 4Saturday
2023June 3Saturday
2024June 1Saturday
2025June 7Saturday
2026June 6Saturday
International Clothesline Week
National CPR and AED Awareness Week
National Fishing and Boating Week
Step Parents Week
Volunteers' Week
Dare Day
Dinosaur Day
Don't Give up the Ship Day
Flip A Coin Day
Gawai Dayak
Global Day of Parents
Intergenerational Day
International Children's Day
International Tabletop Day
Madaraka Day
National Barefoot Day
National Billboard Day
National Black Bear Day
National Bubbly Day
National Hazelnut Cake Day
National Heimlich Maneuver Day
National Nail Polish Day
National Olive Day
National Pen Pal Day
National Prairie Day
National Roman Day
National Skincare Education Day
National Trails Day
New Year's Resolution Recommitment Day
Oscar the Grouch Day
Samoa Independence Day
Say Something Nice Day
Stand For Children Day
Statehood Day in Kentucky
Statehood Day in Tennessee
The Big Lunch
Wear a Dress Day
World Milk Day
World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day
World Outlander Day
World Reef Awareness Day
African American Appreciation Month
Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month
Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome Awareness Month
Aphasia Awareness Month
Audiobook Month
Beautiful in Your Skin Month
Black Lives Matter Month
Black Music Month
Cancer from the Sun Month
Caribbean-American Heritage Month
Cataract Awareness Month
Celibacy Awareness Month
Child Vision Awareness Month
Children's Awareness Month
CMV Awareness Month
Cucumber Month
Effective Communications Month
Entrepreneurs "Do it Yourself" Marketing Month
Fight the Filthy Fly Month
Fireworks Eye Safety Month
Fireworks Safety Month
Georgia Blueberry Month
Great Outdoors Month
Infertility Awareness Month
International Surf Music Month
Lane Courtesy Month
Mango Month
Men's Health Month
Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month
National Accordion Awareness Month
National Adopt A Cat Month
National Camping Month
National Candy Month
National Country Cooking Month
National Dairy Month
National DJ Month
National Foster a Pet Month
National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month
National Frozen Yogurt Month
National Give a Bunch of Balloons Month
National Homeownership Month
National Iced Tea Month
National Lemon Month
National Microchipping Month
National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month
National Oceans Month
National Osteoporosis Month
National Pet Preparedness Month
National Pollinator Month
National PTSD Awareness Month
National Rivers Month
National Rose Month
National Safety Month
National Scoliosis Awareness Month
National Soul Food Month
National Steakhouse Month
National Zoo and Aquarium Month
Oral Health Month
Perennial Gardening Month
Pharmacists Declare War on Alcoholism Month
Pluot & Aprium Month
Potty Training Awareness Month
Pride Month
Pride Month
Professional Wellness Month
Rebuild Your Life Month
Scleroderma Awareness Month
Skyscraper Month
Social Petworking Month
Sports America Kids Month
Turkey Lovers Month
Vision Research Month
We Advocate Time Consciousness and Honesty
Women’s Golf Month

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.