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21st Hibernation comes to an end

Today (April 28th) marked the end of Grinder and Coola's 21st hibernation period on Grouse Mountain!

Both bears went into the den on November 8th, 2021, which was our earliest start to hibernation in their time here on Grouse Mountain. After 171 days in the den, they were sure excited to dig out and get into the all fresh snow in their habitat.

During their winter slumber they did not eat, drink, defecate or urinate. Their metabolism has been in recycle mode - taking care of wastes internally.

True to form, Grinder, our more dominant and exploratory bear, emerged first - but he was quickly followed by Coola.

Let the fun commence

After exiting the den, the two bears proceeded to nibble on the fresh romaine lettuce we had scattered around the habitat (their first food of the year!). This leafy green vegetable imitates the emerging grasses and shrubs that wild bears find on their first forays out from their winter chambers. The lettuce also has a high water content that helps flush out their stomachs and reboot their digestive systems following a winter of no food.

After eating, the boys had numerous play wrestling sessions - even at 21 years old, they still love to play. Grinder prefers to wrestle with all four feet and on his back, while Coola likes to hover over Grinder and use just his forelimbs. Most of their encounters looked like a draw to us!

visit the bears at their habitat

You can now visit Grinder and Coola at their hibernation habitat and den when visiting Grouse Mountain - please follow the signs after exiting the Skyride for the best route out to their habitat. 

We are currently working on expanding their habitat and setting up their large 5.5 acre summer pond habitats. This work will be ongoing for the next few weeks and we will be routing the paths to visit the bears in the best way possible. 

We have also activated the Grouse Mountain Webcams around the bear habitat if you'd like to see what Grinder and Coola are up to.

We look forward to seeing you on the mountain!

For more photos of the bears emerging, check out Grouse Mountain's Instagram and Facebook feeds!