TAIL: Hibernation is a way for animals in the wild to survive periods when it is difficult to find food. Many animals – including some insects! – hibernate or fall into a deep sleep during the winter, when there aren’t as many plants and bugs available to eat. Bears in the wild can sleep for more than 100 days without eating, during which their heart rate decreases and body temperature falls to help save energy.
“In our Zoo and other zoos, bears are provided with healthy food and enrichment activities year-round so they don’t hibernate like bears in the wild do,” says Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Curator of Animals Travis Vineyard. “Even our grizzlies, Cody and Cooper, who were born in the wild have adapted to being active during the winter months. Our keepers develop different enrichment activities that encourage Cody and Cooper to explore their habitat in new ways when the temperatures drop.”