Grizzly bears are preparing for winter hibernation by eating as much as possible. Some will double in size and gain up to three pounds a day. While they are busy fattening up, Idaho Fish and Game Upper Snake shared what they discovered about grizzly bears during a mission to retrieve a dropped collar from a male research bear.
Grizzly bear biologist Jeremy Nicholson and park officers Chris Johnson and Joe Heald located the large male’s den and found much more than the dropped collar.
The den was massive with ample headroom – as a photo of Officer Johnson sitting inside it showed.
As they made their way around the den, they found what remained of the collar and an air vent.
While this shocked most fans, Idaho Fish and Game wrote, “bears often dig a vent hole. Sometimes through the snow at the entrance and sometimes through the top.”
However, the best surprise wasn’t found inside the den. The men turned around and witnessed the most breathtaking view looking out from the den.
They posted, “Ever wonder how a large male grizzly chooses a spot to dig a winter den? The view of course!”
Many people asked if grizzlies return to the same den each year. According to North American Bear Center, grizzlies usually build a new den each year and rarely return to the one they used the year before.
One person commented, “If that were my spot, I’d never leave.”
Hopefully, another bear comes across this amazing den and enjoys the view over the long winter.
Just in case you were unaware, bears do not sleep the entire winter. “We have heard since childhood that bears ‘sleep’ through the winter, but in fact they are awake and in a reduced metabolic state. Yellowstone bears go months without performing the usual bodily functions, and their breathing and heart rates slow significantly,” shares Yellowstone Forever.
As Baloo the sloth bear in Disney’s The Jungle Book states, “That’s why a bear can rest at ease…with just the bare necessities of life.”