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Grouse Mountain’s resident grizzly bears emerge from hibernation

Grinder and Coola awake after 144-day dormancy

The mountain may be closed for business but the bears’ eyes are wide open.

Grinder and Coola, Grouse Mountain’s two resident grizzly bears, emerged from hibernation Tuesday morning, according to the North Vancouver mountain resort.

Following their 144-day winter dormancy, the bears’ emergence marks the completion of their 19th consecutive hibernation period at Grouse Mountain’s Refuge for Endangered Wildlife.

The 19-year-old grizzly bears came to the refuge in 2001, after being orphaned and then rescued during separate incidents in Bella Coola and Invermere, B.C.

Grinder and Coola were busy exploring their mountaintop habitat after emerging from hibernation Tuesday morning, according to Julia Grant, Grouse Mountain spokeswoman.

The furry duo are among the resort’s most popular residents, said Grant, who noted that due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis that Grouse Mountain remains temporarily closed and public assess is currently prohibited.

“We’re encouraging everyone – as they’re doing with lots of friends and family – to connect virtually with our bears,” said Grant.

During Grinder and Coola’s hibernation, their activity is monitored by Grouse Mountain staff via an infrared camera in their den, said Grant, adding that now that they’ve emerged, staff will continue to monitor and care for the bruins.

The public is invited to check up on the bears via a series of webcams available on Grouse Mountain’s official website, as well as following updates through its Ranger Blog.

“We’re trying to keep everyone up to date on Grinder and Coola’s activities until we can safely welcome everyone back to the mountain,” said Grant.

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