It’s only early March, but the first post-hibernation grizzly has already been spotted at Yellowstone National Park. That bear is only the first of many, as The Daily Mail reports that due to the mild winter, the bears are waking up early this year all over the globe—in Russia, Finland, and New England, to name just a few examples. Worldwide, zoos are pulling together their bear meals earlier.
While bears usually sleep for several months at a time in hibernation, the warmer temperatures and lack of snow has led to some waking up early in search of a snack. “In New Hampshire, bear researchers said there had been multiple bear sightings as early as February,” says The Daily Mail. And some bears never even went to sleep at all.
Yellowstone points out that usually “male grizzlies come out of hibernation in mid to late March. Females with cubs emerge later, in April to early May.” Also, they may not necessarily be super-hungry when they wake up from that winter nap. “Kerry Gunther, who leads Yellowstone’s bear management program told the Yellowstone Forever Institute, ‘When they first come out… they are lethargic.’” Can relate.
In fact, we kind of feel about bears waking up early the same way we do about toddlers refusing to nap: Whhhyyy would you deprive yourself of that sweet, sweet sleep? But since they seem rather determined, and since recently more bears have been entering well-populated areas in search of foodstuffs, you can now add “bears” to your long list of things to be concerned about this spring.