A family of black bears (Ursus americanus) fresh out of water, walk through Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. Black bears are good swimmers, short-distance runners, and tree climbers. In the wild they live an average of 18-19 years. In North America they are the most widely distributed bear. And while not small, they are the smallest North American bear species, behind the polar and grizzly (brown bear).
Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is one of nine national wildlife refuges in the Coastal North Carolina National Wildlife Refuges Complex. Pocosin Lakes Visitor Center, located in Columbia, NC, is open 9am to 4pm whenever volunteer staffing is available.