Grouse Mountain’s two resident Grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola, emerged from hibernation on Thursday morning at North Shore resort.
The emergence marked a special anniversary, completing the bears’ 20th hibernation period since arriving at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife.
“It’s always a pleasure to welcome Grinder and Coola out of hibernation to begin exploring their habitat and it’s all the more special this year as we celebrate 20 years since their arrival at the Mountain,” 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.”
During their 170-day winter dormancy, Grinder and Coola were monitored by Grouse Mountain staff via an infrared camera placed in their hibernation den and the live feed was shared with the public on the Grouse Mountain website. This hibernation period is the Grizzly’s longest since their arrival at Grouse Mountain.
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The now 20-year-old Grizzly bears 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.
Grinder was found in 2001 in Invermere. He was wandering alone on a logging road, dehydrated, thin, weak and weighing only 4.5 kg. His mother was never found.
Coola was found orphaned on a highway near Bella Coola. His mother had been killed by a truck and, of her three cubs, Coola was the only one to survive.
Guests are being reminded that provincial travel restrictions are currently in place and not to travel outside their local health authority.
That said, there are still numerous ways to check up on the bears’ activity virtually including via webcam available through the Grouse Mountain website, as well as through updates on Grouse Mountain’s Ranger Blog and social media channels.