I think we can all agree that this social distancing thing has kind of made our days run together into one long blur. We don’t really seem to know what day it is anymore, and it probably doesn’t help that oftentimes staying home all the time means that naps become a little bit more frequent. And that certainly leads you to waking up even more confused about what day, time, or even year it is. Well, given that right now feels a bit surreal, we can totally relate with bears who are beginning to wake up from their winter hibernations – something that must feel pretty weird for the bears, themselves.
Canadian ranger Nicole Gangnon posted a video of a grizzly bear, also known as a North American brown bear, waking up from his long slumber. The little sleeping beauty, known as Boo, was captured poking his head out from under the snow for the first time in 4-months. Based on his reaction, he doesn’t look too impressed with the year so far, and we don’t blame him.
On average, bears will hibernate between 5 and 7 months through winter in order to preserve their fat stores during the cold months. Once the ice and snow begin to thaw, and spring makes its appearance, bears will start to emerge from hibernation. However, due to unseasonably warm weather this year, bears are waking up ahead of schedule. Boo was first recorded to have entered his den on the 21st of November, however, he emerged on the 17th of March this year. And ever since, he’s been getting used to being awake again.
Naturally, his first priority has been getting himself some snacks.
As Gangnon shared on Instagram, “Bears naturally know there isn’t much food growing atm. So they work hard in the fall to put excess weight on not just to survive winter but to also make it through the hardest part of spring which is now. With Boo we give him about 3 days of rousing out of the den and then start with just lettuce for a week before introducing carrots. Next is a bit of protein and then yams. Week by week Boo is reintroduced to a new food that becomes a part of his daily diet and slowly build those calories up.”
Boo was originally born in the wild. However, in June of 2002, his mother was unfortunately killed by a poacher. As a result, Boo and his brother Cari were left orphans at only 5 months old. The Kicking Horse Mountain Resort stepped in and gave the two a new home. Ever since the two have provided rangers with plenty of research in order to help them learn more about grizzly bears – their hibernation patterns are just one of the many bear activities that the rangers observe about the bears.
As Kicking Horse writes on its website, “We continue to learn from Boo, while at the same time allowing him to live the best captive life possible. He is an inspiration for everyone who comes to see him and he is an outstanding ambassador for this magnificent species.”
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.