What's the first thing bears do after emerging from their dens?

by OBDK on April 30, 2021

Spring is in full swing and that means that bears are waking up and emerging from their dens. Grizzly bears and black bears will usually emerge around March and April.1&2

When bears first emerge, they’ll continue to be sluggish, as their bodies adjust out of hibernation mode. They’ll usually be this way for a few weeks.2 Some people call this walking hibernation. This is the time where a bear’s metabolism isn’t up to speed yet.1


When they first emerge, bears will look for food. They’ll usually go after something easy – like newly growing plants or a carcass of an animal that died during the winter.1&3 This is a time when it’s important to stay safe and away from bears if you come across them because they can become aggressive if they’re surprised by you while they’re eating.4


During the spring, females will often have cubs that she needs to take care of and teach how to survive in the wild. Bear cubs face many challenges on their way to adulthood. One of those threats can be how many siblings they have. Check out our article here on the challenges bear cubs face.  

Sources & Further Reading: 

  1. https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do/wildlife/yellowstone-bear-hibernation/

  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/24/science/hibernation-spring-bears-bees-bats-arctic-squirrels.html

  3. http://westernwildlife.org/black-bear-outreach-project/biology-behavior-3/

  4. https://www.yellowstone.org/be-bear-aware-this-spring/

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