For the last couple weeks our two resident Grizzly Bears, Grinder and Coola, have been preparing to hibernate. With some good snow fall on the ground and temperatures regularly below zero degrees, the bears are now spending most of their days inside their den sleeping.
In preparation for hibernation, Grinder and Coola went through hyperphagia to fatten up. In this state they are focused strictly on eating high calorie foods to bulk up for winter. Since early October they have put on a couple hundred pounds each.
Next, we moved Grinder and Coola into their hibernation area and they began their bed making process. Our staff and volunteers provided them with a large mound of Pacific Silver-Fir branches. The bears then proceeded to drag these in and construct a thick mattress on which to sleep the winter away. Grinder even helped out this year! In the past, Coola has done the majority of the bed making.
In the last week we have tapered off their food and the temperatures have begun to get even cooler. Grinder and Coola are now spending most of their time inside their sleeping den. We anticipate closing their door to the outside after the weekend and they will be officially in hibernation.
We are also happy to announce our winter hibernation den camera is online. This infrared camera provides a unique look into a dark bear den. You can see just what Grinder and Coola are doing over the winter time.
Please visit our wildlife refuge page and choose the 'Bear Camera' to follow along.