A webcam recently captured footage of a black bear slowly waking up from hibernation in the bowels of a cottonwood tree. We have to admit, it's pretty adorable.
Glacier National Park has 13 webcams set up around the park, and they are a big hit with the viewing public. On March 23 one camera captured a slowly waking black bear climbing from its den in an old cottonwood tree after winter hibernation.
The video of the sleepy bear emerging from its den garnered more views than any other page in the entire National Park Service. On the Thursday that the park service posted the video, 37,388 people viewed it. Another camera set up to capture a wide angle view of the den earned 12,000 more views.
"We often get screenshots from visitors who watch the cameras each day and sometimes capture wildlife crossing through," said Lauren Alley, Glacier National Park management assistant. "We hear that some people keep the cameras up on their screens at work all day to experience a little piece of Glacier in among their meetings and other workplace stresses."
Bears denning in hollow trees is not unusual, according to Jamie Jonkel, a wildlife specialist for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Even if those dens are high up in the tree.
"Those cottonwood dens are very common. It's a nice little hole in the tree," Jonkel said. "I love when they den in those."
Here's another video of the bear in its tree den. This one shows a little more action from the bruin.
Could there be cubs in the bear den? Probably not, but maybe! It’s hard to tell the bear’s sex from our distant view and there have been no signs yet that cubs are in the den with the adult. Cubs weighing less than half a pound are born in the middle of the winter denning period, usually between mid-January and early February. A mother bear will typically give birth to one to three cubs at a time. By the time a mother bear and her cubs are ready to emerge into spring, the cubs typically weigh around five pounds.Young bears grow very quickly and can weigh around 80 pounds by their first birthdays. Take a shift on cub watch here: go.usa.gov/xQrwD This black bear (Ursus americanus) was first sighted on March 23rd and we’ll keep this temporary camera out until the bear moves on for the summer. Learn more: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/bears/black-bears.htm Video description: A black bear rests, looks around, and yawns from a hole in a tree while the camera zooms in.
Posted by Glacier National Park on Friday, March 30, 2018
"People use the webcams for different purposes; they want to get that Glacier experience if they can't be there, or people wanting to check them to see what's going on," Alley said.
Even though the camera looks to be set up right next to the bear's den, it is actually more than a football field away (357 feet).
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