Ever wondered what goes into making a bear den? The Critter Care Wildlife Society was lucky enough to film two of their rehabilitating bears as they began their hibernation process.
Dragging straw across their enclosure, the video demonstrates the fascinating denning process and the powerful draw that winter has on these furry creatures.
“Bears aren’t true hibernators though so they will get up and walk around, maybe lay on the platform in the enclosure, grab a drink of water, and then go back to bed,” Critter Care’s Gail Martin told the Aldergrove Star.
They remain in a state called torpor. While they can make in through the winter without eating, urinating, or defecating, black bears can still wake up with a disturbance. While it is a common misconception that bears hibernate to escape the cold, the most pressing factor is really the lack of food.
In January, females will be giving birth to their cubs. The cubs will remain alert through the remainder of their time in the den while the mother snoozes away, waking occasionally to look over her children.
Even removed from the wild, these bears are driven by their natural instincts to take a long slumber during the colder months. The Critter Care Wildlife Society has been taking care of five orphaned bears this winter, with most being ready for release come spring. By March, these bears will be ready to emerge from their cozy den and take their first strides back in the wild.