Cinnamon-colored black bear in WV?

Over the weekend, one of my Trailcams outside Romney, West Virginia captured an image of a very brown looking black bear. When I went to research my find, everything I read says that, unlike Western black bears, ALL (100%) of black bears in WV are Jet Black. What gives? This bear is clearly brown.

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Hi @Tapnnud and welcome!
I just wanted to let you know, that while your post is fine, we generally prefer that observations be uploaded to the main website. Some people mistakenly think that the forum is for identification.
If you don’t yet have an iNaturalist account, you can sign up at or with one of the apps.


Pennsylvania has cinnamon ones. This one was shot in the 2006 hunting season in Fayette County, right near the WV border. They’re rare in that part of the US, but not unknown. It’s not surprising that WV would have a few as well.

Most of the time those, “we only have X,” type statements are wrong, or exaggerations/simplifications.


Thanks for the tip. I’m new to the site and look forward to getting a better lay of the land.


Wow! Less than 1% of the black bear population. I feel extremely privileged to have one stroll by my camera. My only hope is it doesn’t meet the same fate as the one in the article. Thanks for your reply.


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