Bear Aware: Time for hibernation!

There have been no reported bear sightings in town the last few weeks and I predict there won’t be many more in town this year.

There have been no reported bear sightings in town the last few weeks and I predict there won’t be many more in town this year.

Bears have been bulking up and storing body fat this fall in preparation for hibernation. They are now or soon to be in fall transition which is when they start to eat less and are lethargic resting up to 22 hours a day. They will soon be heading to their dens that they have dug up in rock crevices or hollow trees.

When a bear hibernates, their heart beat slows drastically and their body temperature drops about seven degrees Celsius. During hibernation, bears do not defecate nor wake up to eat or drink. During the five to seven months in their dens, the bear’s intestinal tract absorbs all liquid from its feces, creating a hard and dry plug in the lower intestine. This plug also contains dead intestinal cells, the bear’s own hair and bedding material. Urea produced from fat metabolism is broken down and the resulting nitrogen is used by the bear to build protein which allows it to maintain muscle mass and organ tissues.

Bears may lose 15 to 30 per cent of their body weight during hibernation.

The bears are soon to be sleeping so therefore I too will be wrapping up the Bear Aware season. I would like to thank the Village of Radium Hot Springs, the District of Invermere and the Conservation Officer Service for all their support.

Also, I would like to give a big pat on the back to all the residents that picked their fruit, stored garbage correctly and managed all other attractants.

BCCF’s Bear Aware gratefully acknowledges funding by Columbia Basin Trust, the Ministry of Environment and the communities of Invermere and Radium.

To report any aggressive deer or bear sightings call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277. For more information on Bear Aware contact Crystal Leonard, Bear Aware Community Co-ordinator at 250-688-0561, invermere@bearaware.bc.ca or radium@bearaware.bc.ca.

For more solutions check out the Bear Aware website at www.bearaware.bc.ca.

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