7 Fun Facts about Bear Hibernation

Bears are pretty cool animals and they do something that's very unique: they hibernate! Have you ever wondered how bear hibernation works? Here are 7 fun facts you can share with friends.

  1. Right before they hibernate, bears load up on food, eating up to 20,000 calories daily and gaining as much as 30 pounds a week. 
  2. Bears mate in the late spring/early summer and the fertilized egg will undergo delayed development and remain in a female bear's womb for weeks or months. If she hasn't accumulated enough fat by hibernation time, the egg will spontaneously abort. 
  3. Baby bears are born in winter during hibernation and are nursed in the den until they emerge in spring.
  4. During hibernation a bear's heart rate drops to as slow as 8 beats per minute.
  5. Bears sleep in dens they dig out in hollowed-out tree cavities, under logs or rocks, caves, banks and shallow depressions.
  6. Bears hibernate without eating, drinking, urinating or defecating.
  7. When they emerge, they are in a state called walking hibernation for 2-3 weeks while their metabolic processes adjust to normal levels and they do not eat or drink much during this time.

Learn more about black bears:

Black Bears

Out on A Limb

The Bear Family and Me