LifestyleInside a bear's den: Tatra National Park staff give insight into hibernation habits as early awakenings observed

Inside a bear's den: Tatra National Park staff give insight into hibernation habits as early awakenings observed

This is what a bear's den looks like.
This is what a bear's den looks like.
Images source: © TPN

8:12 AM EST, February 23, 2024

Bears inhabiting the Tatra National Park typically rouse from their winter slumber in the spring. Although winter still holds on the calendar, recent temperatures in the Tatras bear more resemblance to spring than winter, leading to the early rousing of some bears from their months-long sleep.

Stepping into a bear's lair

A staff member from the Tatra National Park filmed and shared a video that offers an inside view of an empty bear's den. This video was shared on the TPN's Facebook page. "The bear vacated this lair likely on February 14 of this year.", the staff member noted.

Prior to exiting its lair, the bear had collected and broken branches to craft a den. "After all, no one likes to lay directly on the snow, especially when you're famished!" - joked the foresters in their post.

The video, showcasing the bear's den, was well-received online. "Fascinating to see the bear's winter bedroom." "A perfect studio apartment." "Amazing.", read some of the online responses.

TPN staff confirmed the video was filmed mindfully so as not to endanger the one filming or disturb the lair's inhabitant. "Our team tracked the bear's departure over several kilometers (miles), and only felt safe to peek into the den after confirming the bear was not nearby.", according to the post.

What to do when encountering a bear?

If you stumble upon a bear or any other wild animal, it's crucial to remain calm. Furthermore, you should refrain from startling movements, getting too close for photos, or throwing food towards the animal.

"During outings, be conscious of your waste. Make sure to take all food scraps with you and dispose of them in designated areas outside of the park. Stay on the marked trails and aim to exit the mountains before dusk. This will allow you to take in the extraordinary beauty of the Tatras, while also respecting the wildlife that inhabits it." - TPN staff advises.

Source: Tatra National Park

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