Grouse Mountain Grizzlies wake from record hibernation (PHOTOS)

Apr 28 2022, 11:16 pm

For the 21st time, two grizzly bears who live on Grouse Mountain have emerged from hibernation and are ready for post-snooze playtime.

ā€œThis hibernation period is the bearsā€™ longest since their arrival at Grouse Mountain, surpassing last yearā€™s record by one day,ā€ says a statement from Grouse Mountain.

The fuzzy buddies spent 171 days sleeping this winter ā€” under staff supervision, of course, using an infrared camera hidden in their den.

And according to photos taken after they sleepily stepped out, the bears were in the mood to wrestle with each other and slide around in the snow.

Grizzly bears Grouse Mountain hibernation Grinder Coola 2

Courtesy of Grouse Mountain

Grinder and Coola have been at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife since 2001, when they were rescued after being orphaned during separate incidents in Invermere and Bella Coola.

Grizzly bears Grouse Mountain hibernation Grinder Coola 5

Courtesy of Grouse Mountain

One bear looked totally blissed while soaking up the sun.

Grizzly bears Grouse Mountain hibernation Grinder Coola

Courtesy of Grouse Mountain

Dr. Ken Macquisten, Wildlife Refuge Director and Veterinarian, said heā€™s excited to watch the bears explore their habitat and to welcome guests eager to see them.

ā€œAs our team works to gradually expand their habitat to its full size, we welcome guests to visit the bears at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife and stay connected with themĀ virtuallyĀ from around the world,” he said.

Grizzly bears Grouse Mountain hibernation Grinder Coola 4

Courtesy of Grouse Mountain

Hibernating allows the bears to conserve their energy during a time when thereā€™s not usually much food available.

When Grinder was first found, he was ā€œwandering alone on a logging road, dehydrated, thin, weak, and weighing only 4.5 kg.ā€ Heā€™s come far since then, and is now known for being outgoing, high-spirited, and dominant.

Grizzly bears Grouse Mountain hibernation Grinder Coola 6

Courtesy of Grouse Mountain

Coola was found on a highway after his mother and two brothers were killed by a truck. Compared to Grinder, heā€™s now easygoing and often found playing in the pond at the refuge.

To learn more about them, visit Grouse Mountain’s website.

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