A sure sign of spring, Grouse Mountain’s two resident Grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola emerged from hibernation earlier this morning at the Peak of Vancouver.
While Grinder and Coola are now out exploring their mountaintop habitat, Grouse Mountain reminds yo that due to COVID-19, Grouse Mountain is temporarily closed and public access to resort property is prohibited. Members of the public are invited to check up on the bears’ activity via webcam available through the Grouse Mountain website as well as following updates through Grouse Mountain’s Ranger Blog and social media channels.
“It’s always a pleasure to welcome Grinder and Coola out of hibernation to begin exploring their habitat”, said Dr. Ken Macquisten, Refuge Director and Veterinarian. “Hibernation through the winter is a natural way for Grizzlies to conserve energy during a time of low food availability. As Grinder and Coola continue to explore and our team works to gradually expand their habitat to its full size, we encourage you to stay connected with them virtually until we can safely welcome you back to Grouse Mountain.”
Tuesday morning’s emergence marked the completion of the bears’ 19th hibernation period at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife. During their 144-day winter dormancy, Grinder and Coola were monitored by Grouse Mountain staff via an infrared camera placed in their hibernation den and the live feed was shared with the public on the Grouse Mountain website.
Regarded as two of the most popular residents at the Peak of Vancouver, the now 19-year-old Grizzly bears Grinder and Coola originally came to Grouse Mountain’s Refuge for Endangered Wildlife in 2001 when they were rescued after being orphaned during separate incidents in Bella Coola and Invermere.
Grinder was found in 2001 in Invermere, BC. He was wandering alone on a logging road, dehydrated, thin, weak and weighing only 4.5 kg. His mother was never found so we’ll probably never know why he was alone. Grinder is outgoing and high-spirited. He has established himself as the dominant bear despite his smaller size. If you see Grinder and Coola play fighting, you can bet he started it.
In 2001, Coola was found orphaned on a highway near Bella Coola, BC. His mother had been killed by a truck and, of her three cubs, Coola was the only one to survive. Coola is an easygoing bear who’s content to let Grinder take the lead in new discoveries. He can usually be found submerged up to his neck in the large pond, carefully feeling around for his underwater ‘bath toys’ – a log, large bone and favourite rock.
Grouse Mountain is the number one visitor attraction in the Lower Mainland, with 1.3 million annual visitors. For more information, visit grousemountain.com.