Where Sleeping Bears Lie

Dated: September 23 2021

Views: 163

Fall is once again upon us! The leaves are changing colors, the air is crisper, and the scents of winter are teasing our noses. Just as the trees and other foliage are preparing for winter, so too are Colorado’s Black Bears. During the fall months, Black Bears spend the majority of their time foraging for food, ingesting about 20,000 calories per day to store up enough protein and fat to sustain them through the six months spent in hibernation. Hibernation typically begins towards the end of October through the beginning of November, with female bears and their cubs being the first to enter their dens, and the males following shortly after.

 

Bear dens can be found under trees or in trees that have been hollowed out, in caves, and even sometimes underneath people’s decks. In Mount Crested Butte, there was one bear who famously lived under the deck of the Iron Horse Tap for years! Bears will fill their dens with plant materials, such as leaves and twigs, as make-shift bedding and insulation.

 

Bears hibernate not because of the cold winter months, but because of the shortage in food resources. During hibernation, bears may wake up and leave their dens for brief periods of time, but in general, they do not drink or eat, nor urinate or defecate, for the entirety of the hibernation period. A bear’s heart rate and body temperature can drop by about 20% or more, and they can lose anywhere from 15-40% of their body weight, especially female bears who are lactating.

 

To learn more about the hibernation of Black Bears, click on the following videos created by Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW):

Or, check out the following blogs:

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Michelle Burns

Hi, my name is Michelle Burns, and I would love the opportunity to assist you with your home buying and selling goals. The Gunnison Valley has something to offer everyone, including incredible outdoor....

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