Ever woken up to a pretty dire situation? Maybe you went out and lost your phone or, worse yet, kept hold of it and posted some pretty questionable Facebook Live content. If so, you might have sympathy for this poor bear who, after around half a year of hibernation, has woken up to the unending series of unfortunate events that is 2020. In an amazing video posted by a Canadian ranger, the grizzly bear named Boo can be seen poking his head out of the snow for the first time in months and looking a little unimpressed by the whole situation. Honestly mate, same.
The grizzly bear, Ursus arctos horribilis, also known as the North American brown bear, is a large subspecies of brown bear found in North America. They hibernate each winter to preserve fat stores in the cold, dark months and emerge in spring when temperatures start to pick up again. Typically, grizzlies hibernate for 5 to 7 months, but this year a trend has been noticed across the globe of hibernating bears waking up early due to unseasonably warm weather.
Our groggy bear Boo is seen waking up at the Kicking Horse Grizzly Bear Refuge, but he was originally born in the wild. Unfortunately, Boo and his brother Cari (together their names make Cariboo, after the mountains where they were found) were both orphaned in 2002 when their mother was shot and killed by a poacher. At just 5 months old, the brother bears weren’t able to support themselves and so were taken in by the refuge to help them survive and thrive.
The refuge is also a research center collecting data on grizzly bear hibernation. A custom-built den was built out of logs to provide a suitable shelter where the bears could take their annual long rest, which is continually monitored both externally and internally by cameras. The research actually prompted the refuge to hang up the phrase hibernation and replace it with winter dormancy, owing to the fact that bears engage in limited activity during the winter unlike true hibernators who don’t move and can’t be woken.
The fantastic video caught by Kelly Canuck shows the very excited ranger greeting the less-than-enthusiastic bear as he leaves his manmade nest. Canuck can be heard saying, “Eight years it took me to catch this moment!” as Boo hauls himself out of the ground. After he's fully emerged, Boo stops to take in the landscape and stares out with a look of, and I might be anthropomorphizing here, total and complete ennui. We feel ya, bud.