Yesterday afternoon marked the start of one of the final stages of Grinder and Coola's preparations for their winter dormancy period. Since the bears are getting quite sleepy and less interested in food, we moved the two boys into their Hibernation Habitat beside the Bear Den (or Bear Hotel as we like to affectionately call it). This move also allows us to take down and store the Upper Pond habitat so that it doesn't get destroyed in the snow.
We have given Grinder and Coola their first Pacific Silver Fir tree branches which they will use to construct their hibernation bed. They prefer the Silver Fir because the needles are flat and relatively soft. Speaking from personal experience, it does make a very comfy mattress!
The appetite of the bears has decreased, so in response we have decreased the amount of food they are receiving. They will have a couple more salmon feeds and are still receiving their daily vegetables but once the snow starts to fall we will cut off this supply as well and this will be the final trigger that it's time to hibernate.
Depending on what Mother Nature decides to do in regards to snowfall over the next little while, we are still a few weeks away from official hibernation but the bears will use this time to make sure they are good and prepared for a long winter's nap!
We are also pleased to announce that we have switched over the bear webcam to the den camera - so you can now watch a live feed from inside their sleeping chamber
. Be sure to watch in the next little while for signs of bed-making activity and other preparation behaviors.