This photo was taken in Seward, Alaska, sometime between: 1904-1913. This photo shows a black bear cub riding on the back of a young girl. The picture is called Bear-Back Riding. The bear is wearing a collar around it’s neck; the collar is connected to a chain that the girl is holding. It looks like this bear was her pet. The young girl doesn’t look too scared but maybe a little nervous. You can see by the way she is bending over the cub must be heavy. This photo is very unique because black bears in Seward used to be rare. They are rare because this area is already inhabited by brown bears. Black bears are most often associated with forested areas. They have been recorded in all states except for Hawaii.
There are three species of the Northern American Bear. The black bear is the smallest of them all. Their color is a jet black, but if you see them after hibernating their color may seem much lighter. These bears can be easily distinguished from the brown bear by their straight facial profile and their claws. The black bears have good senses of sight and hearing but their sense of smell is outstanding. These senses are exactly what they need to survive.