Bears hibernate, Myth or Fact?

When I say hibernation, what comes in your mind?

I hope it isn't this:


Why? Because bears don't really hibernate! To understand that, first we have to understand what hibernation is.

Hibernation is "the condition or period of an animal or plant spending the winter in a dormant state." (Thanks Google.), so far so good but take a look at this as well;

"True hibernation occurs when an animal drastically lowers their body temperature to nearly match their surroundings, and sleeps through the winter. Hibernating animals, like woodchucks, appear lifeless and are not easily awakened. " ~ Phalon Joy Evergreen

When a bear sleeps through the winter, they enter a state of torpor which is a milder form of hibernation, so not real hibernation. Their body temp reduces from 37°-38° to 30°-35° and their heart beats to 8-19 bpm from 70-90 bpm.

Sure this is impressive but their temperature is still pretty high and they could be easily awakened (NOTE: True hibernators are not easy awakened as their body temperature lowers to match their surroundings, yes, this makes them appear lifeless), which makes believing this myth dangerous.

If people think that they can just prod a bear that's sleeping in the winter and it won't wake it up, they're terrifyingly mistaken.


That's it for today, folks!

Stay Safe and Stay Curious! And don't forget your bear spray the next time you take a hike regardless of the season! ~Fauna


Want more bearable content? Check out our other post on bears(Click me!) or check out Coyote Peterson's video on bear protection(Click me!)




Image credits: Daniele Levis Pelusi

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