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Winter 2017-18 Refuge Report

Good night, Boo!

On October 16th @ 11:32am, Boo was confined to his over winter yard so that he may begin preparations for his winter den.  Once Boo enters his den for 24 hours straight, he has officially begun his torpor state.  Torpor is the term used to refer to the dormant state bears enter during the long winter months.  Most refer to this period as hibernation but there is a difference between the two.

Torpor is a short-term reduction on body temperature & is driven by ambient temperatures & food availability.  It involves the drop in oxygen intake & breathing, a drop in heart rate & metabolic rate, a restriction of blood flow to the main organs & the ability to spontaneously rouse despite outside temps.

Hibernation is an extended form of torpor.  Body temperatures will drop much lower than that of an animal in torpor with metabolic rates dropping between 1 & 2 percent of the active animal.  Hibernating animals do wake from their hibernation but this can take several hours unlike an animal in torpor.  Hibernation is associated with day length & changes in hormones.

Follow Boo all winter long @Boo Grizzly on Facebook & Instagram!

Grizzly Bear Refuge Manager - Nicole Gangnon

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