Today marked the end of the 22nd winter dormancy period for Grinder and Coola, our two resident Grizzly Bears. This period was 163 days from November 21st, 2022, to today May 3rd 2023. It was their third longest winter dormancy period here at Grouse Mountain.
As usual, Grinder emerged first from the den - digging the way out for Coola to follow. Both boys then proceeded to locate the lettuce we had spread around the habitat. Their stomachs and digestive systems have been in recycle mode since last November with the bears living off their accumulated body fat. As bears emerge they eat leafy green vegetation to help flush out their digestive tracks and get their metabolism going again. We'll start with the lettuce and slowly introduce other vegetables and finally proteins.
Both Grinder and Coola did step on our bear weigh scale and Coola weighed in at 827 lbs and Grinder a trim 718 lbs - both bears lost a little over 200 lbs during the nearly five and a half months in the den! A great diet plan.
Some fun in the snow ensued after that with some play wrestling between the boys. Grinder did his usual fighting from his back so he could engage all four paws. Then, after the play, it was time for some naps as their cardio and energy levels need some breaking in before they are back at full strength.
You can now visit Grinder and Coola at Grouse Mountain by following the signs from the chalet to the Grizzly Bear Habitat where one of our rangers or wildlife volunteers can point out who is who and give you some bear facts to go with your visit. We hope to see you out there!
Some more photos from today's emergence: