Before spring turned into summer, Boo awoke from his den to a chilly start on March 20th. This spring had a generous amount of rainfall which gave him a break from the insects while nourishing all of the vegetation and other life within his habitat. Boo spent much of his time foraging within his enclosure, eating up horsetails, roots, sedges, dandelions, and grasses.
On the other end, our team members were hard at surveying vegetation to see what food was growing inside the habitat. Some of the species within his enclosure include Mountain Ash, Western red-cedar, Wild raspberry, Thimbleberry, and Common horsetail. Summer is the season for bear food! Soon there will be a large verity of berries produced at the elevation of the Bear Refuge, but not quite yet. The staff has slowly started introducing berries into Boo’s diet because these plants are beginning to be productive at the bottom of the valley.
Golden has started to see some hotter days for the summer. Unlike humans, bears cannot thermo-regulate, so, Boo will avoid the sun by resting in his ponds and under trees to combat the heat. Our staff will also make him “Bear Popsicles” to help him cool down. This is usually composed of fruit or meat frozen in a broth and then dropped into one of his pools or shaded areas. Now, if Boo is not foraging, he is napping in daybeds, relaxing in his pools, or playing enthusiastically with hiding enrichment.
Boo is 20 years old as of this winter, officially a senior bear. Grizzly bears have an average life expectancy of 20 – 25 years in the wild, depending on where they live. Even in his older age, Boo is still spry and playful, and we expect him to be at the refuge for a long time. To celebrate his life and Grizzly Bear research and rehabilitation in BC, we will celebrate his 20th year on July 9th and 10th. Kicking Horse Resort will host fun educational workshops, activities, and presentations. Please see our website’s Events & Activities section to learn more about this celebration.
-Grizzly Bear Refuge Staff