Friday, January 13, 2012

Bears, 'Coons, Break Hibernation Early

Here’s some news that I think will interest all readers, no matter where they may live. This past week (January 8-13), reports have come in of encounters with raccoons and black bears. Both these species are hibernators and early January is far too early for either to break their winter slumber.

Of course the lack of snow cover and unusually warm weather has to of caused this unseasonable awakening. Of the two, the raccoons pose little problem, except for homeowners who fail to secure their trash barrels properly. But the bears, well, that’s a different story.

In early spring, when black bears typically stir from their long hibernation, they go out in the world hungry as, well…hungry as bears. Also, these hungry bruins typically have a chip on their shoulders, as anyone would who had not eaten for 5 or 6 months. This gnawing hunger makes them mean and ugly and an ugly bear is a dangerous bear.

So if you encounter a bear, do not venture near it. Bear attacks are rare indeed, but if ever the time were right for a bear to become aggressive toward a human, it would be now.

The weather prognosticator tells us that come this weekend, typically-cold winter conditions will return. If that happens, the ‘coons and bears will no doubt return to wherever it was that they chose to hole up for the winter. And of that, we can be glad.

1 comment:

  1. It's not abnormal for bears, raccoons and skunks to appear in the winter. Bears don't sleep soundly all winter. They wake and sometimes leave the den. We're much more likely to see their tracks in the snow (when we have snow...) than to see the bears because they're out briefly. Sows are typically more active than boars. They're giving birth about now. They'll be awake to tend to the cub(s).

    Raccoons and skunks come out of hibernation in mid winter for mating season.

    Maine Nature News