The North Shore's two resident grizzly bears decided their five-month hibernation was over and emerged from their man-made den this week.

On Saturday, Grouse Mountain Resort shared recent photos of Grinder and Coola, both males, frolicking in the snow in their enclosure at the Refuge for Endangered Wildlife.

Devin Manky, the wildlife manager who snapped the photos, said despite a late snowfall, the bears took other cues to decide it was time to get active.

"This year we noticed Grinder and Coola starting to stir during the warm temperatures over Easter weekend," Manky said in a written statement. "Even though we are still getting fresh snow up top, we think the longer daylight hours are drawing them out."


Grinder takes a walk in the snow after five months of 'dormancy.' (Devin Manky/Grouse Mountain Resort)

Veterinarian Dr. Ken Macquisten said the bears appear to be doing well.

"The bears appear to be in outstanding condition after a healthy and typical hibernation period," he said in a written statement. "They began eating roughage a few days ago to jump-start their digestive and metabolic systems, and based on their playfulness that seemed to work."

Resort spokeswoman Darlene Small said staff will be activating the outdoor habitat cameras so fans of the bears who can't make to up to Grouse Mountain can follow their antics online.

Close observation of the two bears over the past decade has allowed researchers to gain a better understanding of hibernation, Small says.

Staff at the refuge at Grouse Mountain have observed that the grizzlies aren't true hibernators – they sleep for extended periods of time called "dormancy," but will wake up and move around. However, they don't eat or drink.


If you see Grinder and Coola wrestling, you can bet Grinder started it, Grouse Mountain Resort spokeswoman Darlene Small says. (Devin Manky/Grouse Mountain Resort)

Small says the bears came to live in at the ski resort 12 years ago after being found abandoned or orphaned in different parts of British Columbia in 2001.

Grinder, the more dominant of the two bears, was found dehydrated and weak, wandering alone on a logging road in near Invermere.

Coola, whose personality is described as "easygoing," was orphaned outside Bella Coola when a truck killed his mother. Of three cubs found by the side of a highway, only Coola survived.