Grinder and Coola, our two resident bears, are doing well now that they have emerged from their 2019/2020 hibernation on April 21st after a 144 day winter dormancy period.
On the day they emerged both bears were too excited to sit still on our weigh scale but since then we have started their daily routine of sitting for wildlife staff to record their weight. Grinder went into hibernation in November at 921 pounds and Coola weighed 1056 pounds and shortly after emerging their weights were recorded as 727 pounds for Grinder and 850 pounds for Coola! This represents about a 200 pound drop, or about 20% of their body weight, for both bears over the nearly five months that they were in hibernation. This is about the average we see each year.
Both bears are still sleeping inside the den each evening but spend their days outside watching as spring develops here on Grouse Mountain. The bears are not as hungry as you might think as their digestive tracks have been in shut down mode during their winter sleep. Each day they are receiving several large heads of Romaine lettuce in addition to root vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes. This roughage helps clean out their digestive tracks and gets their metabolism up and running again after being shut down for so long. As their activity ramps up we adjust their feeding schedule to keep up.
Construction on their large summer habitat is well underway with the first section being nearly complete. The bears will be excited to enter it soon and spend their days exploring and swimming in their ponds. We will be installing a couple new web cameras so that you can follow along at home when the bears enter this 5.5 acre habitat.
Even though Grinder and Coola are once again out and about exploring their mountaintop habitat please remember that due to COVID-19 Grouse Mountain is temporarily closed and public access to Resort property is prohibited. You can still connect virtually with Grinder and Coola through our live webcams on the Grouse Mountain website as well as stay tuned for updates on the blog and our social media. In the meantime, Grinder and Coola will be patiently waiting until we can safely welcome you back to the Mountain.