Unless you've had a chance to get up close and personal with a black bear, you may think that the dopey look it gives off means this animal isn't very bright. The truth is that the black bear is smart and also curious. Black bears have an awesome sense of smell and color vision.Also, even though the black bear looks a bit clumsy, it is quite the athlete. The black bear can run up to speeds of 35 miles per hour. It also is a good tree climber and swimmer. So, don't think the black bear is a lumbering oaf, because it's not.
I had personal experience with a black bear that was in captivity at a wildlife park where I worked for about a year. There was a black bear on the premises in a cage. He had that "dopey" look in his eyes, but he was anything but dim-witted. He was bit shy at first, but he came to like me.
I actually fed him with a spoon! He was extremely careful when eating and used his tongue a lot. He gave off a gentle air and seemed to enjoy my company. I really liked interacting with the bear.
At times, he would become absolutely energetic and run all over the caged area and climb the sides. Then, he would jump in his bathtub full of water and splash around for kicks.
I never got into his cage with him, but he didn't ever show signs of aggression toward me or anyone else.