On Thursday morning, November 18th, Grinder and Coola suddenly decided it was time to build their hibernation bed! We had provided them with lots of nice soft fir branches a couple weeks before hand but they had gone largely ignored until today. The trigger for their bed building was probably our dropping temperatures and our first serious dump of snow. The snow, cold and short days are all triggers that the bears should begin their winter sleep.
It was all over in a couple short hours and the bears were enjoying their new mattress! As the snow continues to build over the next few days the bears will spend an increasing amount of time sleeping inside. Once we are sure they are spending most of the day inside the den we will close the outer door to their 'bear hotel' and they will spend the winter inside.
Here are a few screen shots of the bed making activity from our infrared cameras inside the den - remember it's pitch black in there!