Grouse Mountain bears awake from record-setting sleep

Grinder and Coola have set a very high bar for the hibernation set.

The pair of grizzly bears just awoke Thursday from 171 days asleep in their den on Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver — one day longer than last year’s record-setting sleep.

“At 171-days, this was the bears’ longest winter dormancy since arriving at our Wildlife Refuge in 2001,” the resort in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland said.

The once-orphaned bears were greeted by cheers when they emerged April 28 from their slumber at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife.

Grinder and Coola have spent 21 hibernations on Grouse Mountain. Photo: Grouse Mountain/Twitter

“We’re excited to welcome Grinder and Coola out of hibernation and to watch them explore their habitat,” Dr. Ken Macquisten, Wildlife Refuge Director and Veterinarian, said in a statement. “Hibernation through the winter is a natural way for Grizzlies to conserve energy during a time of low food availability.”

Over time, officials at the refuge gradually expand their habitat to its full size and allow guests to see the bears doing, well, what bears do.

Grinder and Coola are two of Grouse Mountains most popular attractions. Photo: Grouse Mountain

Grinder and Coola arrived at the refuge in 2001 when there were rescued separately after being orphaned.

Grinder was found wandering alone along a logging road in 2001 in Invermere, B.C. He was dehydrated, thin, weak and weighed only 4.5 kilograms. And, his mother was no where to be found.

Coola was also found in 2001. But he was orphaned and alone along a highway near Bella Coola, B.C. His mother was killed by a passing truck. Coola was the only of her three cubs to survive.

Grinder is smaller than Coola, but he is the dominant bear. Coola is more easygoing and loves dunking up to his neck in a large pond.

“Grinder is outgoing and high-spirited,” the refuge explained. “…If you see Grinder and Coola play fighting, you can bet he started it.”

About the author

Recovering newspaper reporter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.