Warm weather wrecks bears’ winter slumber

By | November 17, 2006

Warm weather wrecks bears winter slumber

Insomniac bears are roaming the forests of southwestern Siberia scaring local people as the weather stays too warm for the animals to fall into their usual winter slumber.The furry mammals escape harsh winters by going to sleep in October-November for around six months, but in the snowless Kemerovo region where the weather is unseasonably warm, bears have no desire yet to hibernate.

“Due to weather conditions, bears didn’t go into the winter sleep in time,” said Tatiana Maslova, chief expert at a regional environmental agency in the city of Kemerovo, about 3,500 km (2,190 miles) southeast of Moscow.

“Our teams are making sure there is no damage to farming and to local residents,” she told Reuters on Wednesday, adding that every patch of land is watched by a specially assigned inspector.

To survive the prolonged winter rest, bears have to put on extra body fat — up to 180 kg (396 pounds) — and so spend the preceding months devouring as much food as they can find. – yahoo

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