When we hear the word ‘hibernate’ we always associate it with bears. That is because, while a lot of animals go through hibernation during the winter season such as squirrels, rodents and bats, the bear is the most famous when it comes to hibernating.
What comes first to our mind is why do bears hibernate? First of all, let’s get to know the meaning of hibernation. Hibernation is when animals spend the winter in utter seclusion and laziness for an undetermined period of time (usually as long as it is winter). Animals become dormant and go into a very deep slumber over the winter.
It is truly an amazing fact we should know that animals like bears have strong instincts of detecting weather changes. Winter season is considered to be a major weather change as the temperature drops to the extreme lowest point and bears have the capability to foresee this and consequently adapt on this freezing season. As we know unlike humans, bears do not have the luxury of watching weather forecast. They simply know when it is coming. To prepare themselves for the hibernation, they usually start to fatten themselves up before winter. Bears are known to balloon up to 40 pounds per week before they start going into seclusion. Stuffed, heavier and slower than usual, these huge fluffy looking bears will spend the entire winter season sleeping in caves, holes or any place they can find refuge and comfort against the freezing temperature of the winter.
Another amazing fact is their stored fat is the only source of energy to keep them nourished until the winter is over, so there is absolutely no need for them to get up and hunt for food.
Winter is certainly the best time of the year for bears, it’s almost comparable to human who works all year and gets an annual paid leave. Bears are luckier though, they get longer months to be lazy.