Today marks the start of the 15th Hibernation / Winter Dormancy Period for Grinder and Coola, our two resident Grizzly Bears, at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife.
With recent snowfall, cold temperatures and short days, Grinder and Coola have been spending most of their time sleeping. A bit of food had been offered but had gone ignored. We are currently receiving lots of fresh snow on the ground and this combined with the behaviors noted above told us it was time to close the door to the den and let them sleep the winter away.
Both bears are really stocked up on the body fat for the winter! Grinder recently weighed in at over 900 pounds! We estimate Coola to be over 1000 lbs.
This is the earliest date ever for the bears entering hibernation - beating the 2009 date of November 19th by a few days. The overall average date for entering the hibernation period has been sometime in the last week of November.
We like to think that this shows the bears perhaps know it's going to be a long and very snowy winter ahead!
Please follow along with Hibernation 2015/16 on our infrared camera inside Grinder and Coola's Den - you can see what they are up to inside while they ride out the winter. Here's the link: