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They’re Awake! Zoo Grizzlies Complete Successful Hibernation

For immediate release: April 13, 2018 - 11:00am
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Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo (Zoo) grizzly bears, Mistaya (miss‑TIE’‑yuh) and Koda (KOH’ dah), have successfully completed their second hibernation.  While hibernating bears typically awake in spring, the Zookeepers have been working hard to convince them that winter is, in fact, over.

Mistaya and Koda completed their first hibernation the winter of 2017, and April 12, 2018, marks the completion of their second.

The Zoo installed cameras in the hibernation dens in order to closely monitor behaviour, activity levels, and breathing patterns during the bears’ second hibernation.  The Zoo will be comparing the collected information from the bears’ second hibernation to that of their wild counterparts being monitored by other research facilities in Canada.

Although Mistaya and Koda have never hibernated in the wild, there are already some striking similarities the Zoo has found between Mistaya and Koda and bears being monitored in the wild.

“One similarity we noticed right away is that Mistaya and Koda went into hibernation at the same time as some of the bears being monitored in the wild and completed their hibernation within days of their wild counterparts in Alberta and British Columbia,” said Tim Sinclair‑Smith, Zoo Manager.  “We are currently working to analyze all of the data collected during the bears’ hibernation and will be working with research facilities across Canada to compare and report findings.”

Mistaya and Koda will return to the Kinsmen Grizzly Bear Exhibit this weekend. Make sure to stop by and say hello!

For more information on the Zoo, including the recently launched Zoo Season Pass that will allow you to visit your favourite resident grizzlies year-round, please visit www.saskatoon.ca/zoo.