The bears are getting ready for summer at the Romanian sanctuary

June 01 2018

With the weather at the sanctuary improving, the bears are out of hibernation and ready to play! They’re getting together to splash around in the pools, play-wrestle in the grassy areas and eat together in the meadow

Some bears have even been seen high in the trees, either sleeping or looking out over the forest as if enjoying the view.

Coming out of hibernation

When bears come out of hibernation they need to eat and drink so they forage for food (grass, vegetation, roots, nuts) or in the case of the sanctuary bears, extra food they are provided by our partner Asociatia Milioane de Prieteni (AMP), such as a fruits and vegetables.

They head to the water pools to drink and most likely have a bath. In the sanctuary the bears will also greet the other bears and renew their hierarchy where the less dominant bears remember to keep their distance from the dominant bears.

Quite often, the bears can be seen rolling around in the grass, just like dogs do, to enjoy the experience and to get certain smells on their fur. It could be because the smell of the grass is appealing to the bear or it could also be that the grass rolling cleans the fur in some way. They sometimes roll around in their food – which dogs also do at times.

Hibernation in the sanctuary

Bears in the wild tend to hibernate for longer periods than bears in the sanctuary. This is mainly because there is always a supply of food available for the bears in the sanctuary as the staff provide it daily. Even so, many of the bears do hibernate for varying periods. Some may not be seen for a month or more, while others may pop out of their den for a stroll or a drink and then go back to sleep for a few days or weeks.

Some bears in the sanctuary don't hibernate at all because of the abundant amount of food available. Instead they choose to enjoy the sanctuary during the winter months, with some even seen ice-skating on the frozen ponds.

Hibernation in the wild

In the wild bears fatten up in Autumn and then the onset of winter means the food supply disappears and that triggers the instinct of hibernation. In countries that have a long winter, the bears can sleep for four or even five months. During that time, they don’t eat, defecate or urinate. They can even give birth while hibernating!

Watch the bears in action

You can try to see the bears in action by checking out AMP's live stream below. Tune in whenever you would like to see bears roaming, exploring and playing to their hearts content.

Discover more about our work with the Romanian bear sanctuary >

Quite often, the bears can be seen rolling around in the grass, just like dogs do, to enjoy the experience and to get certain smells on their fur.
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