Calgary

Bow Valley bears waking early from winter slumber

At least five bears were spotted outside of their dens in February, which is a bit earlier than usual, say Alberta Parks officials.

Mild temperatures encouraging bears to emerge from dens, says Alberta Parks

At least five bears were spotted outside their dens in Kananaskis Country in February — which is a bit earlier than usual, according to Alberta Parks.

"It's warm [and] there's not much snow covering their dens, which we typically see this time of year," said ecologist John Paczkowski.

He says it's possible the bears caught a whiff of something — maybe an old kill, and went out for a light snack.

But Paczkowski adds those bears are probably not leaving hibernation and will likely return to their dens. 

"This is something the bears do regularly in periods of warm weather, but we're a little warmer than usual here so we're kind of surprised," he adds.

Paczkowski says big male bears emerge from hibernation around April 1, with females following four to six weeks after. 

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