Residents Accidentally Awaken HIBERNATING BEAR While Inspecting Drain Pipe
(Daily Mail) – When they went down to the woods today, they sure had a big surprise.
Motorists driving through a wooded area in Vesper, Wisconsin stopped when they spotted two dark eyes glistening – down a drain pipe.
Inside the pipe, they found a 300 Ib black bear – who had woken briefly during his hibernation – staring back at them.
‘They said they were just driving along and could see his eyes shining in the dark,’ Dillon Weiler told WAOW.com.
‘As soon as I heard about it I wanted to come down and take a look.
‘It is really cool. I have never seen one hibernating before, only walking around.’
The black bear had nestled among some straw at the base of the tunnel, which ran alongside a road in Wood County.
Experts said his choice of sleeping place was not unusual, with black bears often using man-made objects for make-shift beds.
‘Bears don’t need a lot of brush. They just go towards places that are dry and warm,’ wildlife biologist Courtney Schaefer told the news channel.
‘A lot of dens are quite obvious to the visible eye.’
Others choose to sleep under logs or rocks, or in caves.
And despite the bear’s close proximity to humans, experts said nearby residents had nothing to fear.
‘Typically bears are scared of humans and will turn around and run the other way,’ Schaefer said.
She added that the fact he was awoken from his hibernation would be problematic for the bear himself.
Unlike other species, black bears remain alert and active during their four months of hibernation. Some even wake up and search for food if the temperature is mild.
‘Bears don’t totally fall asleep while hibernating they are very light sleepers,’ Schaefer explained.
Prior to hibernating, they put on around 30 Ibs of fat to get them through the winter months. And compared to other hibernating creatures, their body temperature drops just a few degrees.