Swimming, climbing and foraging are all favorite activities of black bears, and you may see a round of playful wrestling under way, too. All that activity can tire a bear out, so be sure to take a peek through the portholes into their dens to see if they are napping.   Although bears slow down a bit in the winter months, Zoo Knoxville’s bears are active year-round.



North American Black Bears


Keeper chats scheduled Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Typically solitary, Zoo Knoxville’s American black bears spend much of their time together, playing, foraging, and exploring. Excellent climbers due to their smaller size and thick claws, our younger bears can sometimes be found chasing one another up the trees in play. On a hot day, you may even find our bears taking a dunk in the pool.