Things to see in Vancouver: Grouse Mountain grizzlies emerge

A pair of grizzly bears emerged following what was the longest-ever hibernation period at the British Columbia ski resort where they live.

The bears, named Grinder and Coola, have lived in a refuge on a mountain in North Vancouver, B.C., since 2001. At 171 days, this was their longest winter dormancy in those 21 years, staff at Grouse Mountain Resort said in a news release.

The grizzlies were “greeted with cheers” as they emerged from their den Thursday morning, staff said.

This is the second year in a row that their winter slumber broke a record.

Last year the bears, which normally hibernate for about four months, rested for 170 days. Prior to that, their record was 153 days.

“Hibernation through the winter is a natural way for grizzlies to conserve energy during a time of low food availability,” wildlife refuge director and veterinarian Ken Macquisten said in the news release.

During that time, they’re monitored by staff using video and infrared cameras.

Grinder and Coola were found separately as orphaned cubs in 2001, and live in a 5.5-acre sanctuary at the top of Grouse Mountain.

The bears’ living space has two webcams so the public can keep an eye on their actions, but the wildlife refuge is also a tourist attraction.

Video from the outdoor camera Friday morning showed one of the bears lumbering around its enclosure, which is still covered in snow.

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