Bears Coming Out Of Hibernation Month Early After ‘Abnormally’ Warm Winter
Global warming has been affecting lots of animals across the globe, and now it’s causing bears to come out of hibernation early.
Bears in Russia have been surfacing sooner that expected, which zoologists believe to be due to the ‘abnormally warm’ winter.
According to the Moscow Times, two zoos in Russia have reported its bears were stirring, with some already having come out of hibernation last week.
CEO of Moscow Zoo Svetlana Akulova said in a statement:
Our zoologists were preparing for the fact that because of the abnormally warm winter, bears will wake up earlier. Therefore, in February, experts monitored animals around the clock, and after their awakening, they began to prepare animals for walks in the outdoor aviary.
From March 6, Rosa, Aladdin and Budur will go out of their cozy lairs. You can see them in the morning. Closer to dinner, still sleepy predators are likely to return to a den for a nap. This is the natural state of the hibernating bears.
The Moscow Zoo’s 28-year-old Kamchatka brown bear Rosa and two Himalayan bears Aladdin (26 years old) and Budur (25 years old) woke up a month early this year. Last year they surfaced in April.
Upon the bears coming out of hibernation, the zoo keepers will slowly wean the large animals back onto food, starting with berries and eventually moving on to more wholesome foods like meat.
Abnormally warm weather also caused the awakening of the marmots in the capital’s zoo. Rodents Sarah, Nagayna and Archie woke up ahead of schedule and had already begun to leave their holes.
Voronezh Zoo, south of Moscow, reported its bears had officially surfaced last week, while there have also been reports of wild bears already roaming around in a forest in Kirov.
Again, both of these sightings are linked to the ‘abnormally warm’ winter the country’s just had.
According to the Moscow Times, the warm weather even stopped some bears going into hibernation at all in 2018.
Several bears kept in captivity at Bolsherechensky Zoo in Omsk, Siberia, were still awake in December, as local temperatures hovered around 10°C (50°C) when Russia’s typical winter temperatures can plummet as low as -15°C (5°F).
According to CNN, Moscow has endured one of its hottest winters on record, which has left the city completely snowless.
This winter beat the previous record in Russia’s 140-year meteorological observations by 1.3°C, which was held in 2015/16.
Elena Volosyuk, a meteorologist with the Fobos government-licensed weather center, told CNN:
These are whopping numbers. The trend continues into spring as March is starting with +7-8 degrees Celsius above average, so essentially our actual weather is ahead of the calendar by almost a month.
What’s striking is that abnormally high temperatures of +5-10 degrees Celsius, and in some places even +15-18 degrees Celsius above the norm, were recorded not only in the European part of our country but also east of the Ural mountains, including northern Siberia and Yakutia.
Russia wasn’t the only country to endure its hottest winter yet – apparently the whole of Europe did too.
According to the Copernicus Climate Change Service, the European Union’s Earth observing program, the whole of Europe had its warmest winter since their records began 165 years ago.
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CreditsMoscow Times and 2 others
Mayor of Moscow official site