Waking Bears not as hungry as they look 


Slide series kicks off Michael Allen series

Waking bears aren’t as hungry as you’d think after six months of hibernation, and they’re far from grumpy, according Whistler Black Bear Researcher Michael Allen.

"They’re stomach shrinks during the winter, so they eat very little," he said. "It takes a couple of weeks to really get going again. They’re slow and they sleep a lot."

‘Shaking off hibernation – early spring behaviour and activity’ is only one of the topics Allen will discuss in his slideshow presentation "Waking Bears", the first in the Bearlife Slide Series which will run through to the fall.

Other topics include Allen’s experiences this past winter studying the cougars in Princeton for a BBC television documentary; an investigation into why bear newborn cubs are so much smaller than other species at birth; and a presentation on bear-proofing your home and handling a bear encounter.

Waking Bears is at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler on Tuesday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m. Admission is $10, and family rates are available at the door.

All proceeds from the show will go towards the winter 2002-2003 Sleeping Bear Program. With the help of local students Allen hopes to get a video recorder into a Whistler Mountain bear den to record a bear in hibernation. He will also study snow depth, the temperature inside and outside of the den and the impact that human activity – out of bound skiers and snowboarders – have on a sleeping bear.

For more information about black bear research and education programs, contact Allen at mallen_coastbear@direct.ca.

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