A beautiful spring morning greeted Grouse Mountain’s two resident Grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola, as they excitedly emerged from hibernation earlier today at the Peak of Vancouver.
This concludes the bears’ 17th hibernation period which is tied for the longest since their arrival at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife.
During their 153-day winter dormancy, wildlife staff once again monitored Grinder and Coola via an infrared camera placed in their hibernation den and the live feed was shared with the public on the Grouse Mountain website.
"We’re pleased to welcome Grinder and Coola out of hibernation and watch them playfully explore their habitat", said Dr. Ken Macquisten, Refuge Director and Veterinarian. "Hibernation through the winter is a natural way for Grizzlies to conserve energy during a time of low food availability. The annual awakening of the massive male Grizzlies signals the onset of spring and summer adventures and we welcome all guests to visit these magnificent animals at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife."
The now 17 year old Grizzly bears Grinder and Coola originally came to Grouse Mountain’s Refuge for Endangered Wildlife in 2001 when they were rescued after being orphaned during separate incidents in Bella Coola and Invermere.
As usual, Grinder was the first to emerge after rapidly digging a small opening out of the snow still in front of the bear den. Once he got a slight opening he was through! Coola, on the other hand, prefers larger, more accommodating places to crawl through so he spent a bit of time making a larger opening through the snow before emerging for the first time. Both bears then enjoyed their first feed of 2018 - carrots and lettuce! This will stimulate their appetites and metabolism and help them ramp back up to a full diet in a few weeks time.
We encourage you to stop by and see them in their hibernation habitat! For the moment they are in their hibernation habitat as we continuing construction of their full summer habitat. Please follow the Grizzly Bear Habitat signs in front of the Chalet to make your way to the habitat. Grinder and Coola look forward to seeing you!
Here are a few photos from the morning: