Black Bear

Though today they are restricted to the higher mountain ranges of the Trans-Pecos, such as the Davis and Guadalupe Mountains, black bears were once widespread in the region. Their bones have been found in archeological contexts at Hueco Tanks, but their ritual significance to the native peoples of the region may have surpassed their economic utility. Black bear remains were brought to the ritual cave of Cueva Pilote for what is believed to be a ceremonial purpose. Two bear long bones were found jammed under protruding ledges of rock on either side of the mouth of the cave. Black bears are also depicted in rock art at Jaguar Cave in Alamo Canyon.

photo of a bear
A Mexican black bear, a subspecies of Euarctos americanus, the black bear of North America, in the Chisos Mountains. Photo by Charles Draper, courtesy Big Bend Gazette (
photo of a rat
Pictograph of probable black bear in Jaguar Cave, Alamo Canyon. Photo courtesy Photo by Rupestrian Cyberservices.