And just like that: Grinder and Coola woke up from their 170-day winter dormancy this morning (April 29).
The bruins’ emergence from their den at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife marks a special anniversary, as the bears have just completed their 20th hibernation period since first arriving at the mountain decades earlier, according to the mountain resort.
“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,” stated Ken Macquisten, refuge director and veterinarian, in a news release. “Hibernation through the winter is a natural way for grizzlies to conserve energy during a time of low food availability.”
The cubs were rescued separately from Bella Coola and Invermere, B.C. in the spring of 2001 and later brought to the mountaintop refuge.
As Grinder and Coola continue to explore their post-hibernation backyard, staff will work to gradually expand their habitat to its full size, according to the release.
Grouse Mountain is currently open for skiing and riding until May 2 for those within the local health authority.