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Glacier National Park

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To kick off National Park Week, Saturday, April 21, 2018 is a fee-free day! That means all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. Come visit and take in the view. (TT) NPS Photo [Two visitors sitting on a bench at the foot of Lake McDonald look out toward the lake on a sunny, blue sky day. Wispy clouds fill part of the sky above snow capped mountains in the distance.] #nationalparkweek #findyourpark

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“It’s all magic, this mountain world - natural magic. Enough to enwild you - rewild you, renature us all. As if that weren’t wonder enough, it’s spring.” - Douglas Chadwick 🏔✨ Image Description: A snowy mountain, wrapped in clouds, glows with sunset light.

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Dr. John Waller is a wildlife biologist with expertise in bears and he’s going to answer your questions today at 2PM (MDT) on #InstagramLive and #FacebookLive! . . Image description: Bear paw prints in mud near a person’s feet.

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“Give a month at least to this precious reserve. The time will not be taken from the sum of your life." - John Muir, Our National Parks 1901 . . Image description: Sunset light fades on Mount. Vaught and Stanton Mountain and reflects on Lake McDonald

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We have answered that age-old question! . . During hibernation bears do not eat, drink, defecate, or urinate. Once inside their dens bears form a kind of plug composed of feces, dead intestinal cells, hair, and bedding material in the anus. They continue to produce some feces during hibernation yet they do not defecate. It is possible this plug may keep the bear from defecating inside the den during hibernation as fecal plugs are found just inside or outside the dens of bears that have just emerged. . . Do you have a question about bears? Write it in the comments. On Wednesday at 2:00PM (MDT) we’re going to be on #InstagramLive and #FacebookLive to answer your bear questions! . . This bear has been sluggishly poking its head out since March 23rd. You can watch it emerge from the link in our profile. . . Video description: A black bear poops into the air from a hole in a tree.

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It was once believed that bears obtained nutrients from sucking their paws during hibernation. This idea most likely arose from observations of bears licking the bottom of their paws during the last half of the denning period when their old, callused footpads slough off. The sucking and licking action apparently helps toughen the new footpads so bears can walk on them without pain or difficulty when they emerge from the den and begin searching for food. . . This bear has been sluggishly poking its head out since March 23rd. You can watch it emerge from hibernation LIVE on our new temporary webcam. (Link in Profile) Video description: A black bear stretches its feet from inside a hole in a tree.

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Some people call bears super hibernators because they dramatically slow down many bodily functions while still keeping their body temperature up. . . Small animals, with higher surface area to mass ratios, like chipmunks and ground squirrels hibernate with very low body temperatures and they must awaken every few days to warm up. . . Hibernating bears keep their body temperature relatively close to normal but do dramatically lower their respiratory and heart rates. . This bear has been sluggishly poking its head out since March 23rd. You can watch it emerge from hibernation LIVE from the link in our profile. Video description: A black bear claws at the inside of a tree.

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We have all been captivated by the bear 🐻 this week. But meanwhile in #TwoMedicine . . . The plowing crew has begun the road opening process. On Monday in Two Medicine, they found that areas typically free of snow this time of year had 4' of snow, average snow depths are 7-10', with drifts of 15-20'. #MayTheForceBeWithYou plow crew! NPS photo taken April 2, 2018. [ Image of #TwoMedicineCampStore. Drifts of snow fill the foreground, approaching the eaves of the building, and the chimney is surrounded by snow to the roofline. The background mountains are dimly exposed through the fog, and a large, barren deciduous tree blows in the wind.]

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Have you ever woken up super thirsty? This bear knows how you feel! Stay tuned to our new webcam for the chance to spot the bear out for a snowy snack! . . Black bears generally do not eat, drink, defecate, or urinate during hibernation. In hibernation, bears live off of a layer of fat built up during the summer and fall. Wastes are produced but instead of disposing of their metabolic waste, they recycle it. Bears lose fat and may actually increase lean-body mass while hibernating due to their ability to recycle nitrogen. . . Video description: A black bear licks snow around a hole in a tree.

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If you were a bear, where would you hibernate for the winter? . . This black bear (Ursus americanus) appears to have chosen this large cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) as its home for the winter. Bears spend the winter months in dens as a result of a lack of available food in the winter. They make their dens in hollow trees or logs, under a tree, in rock crevices, or dug into the ground. Bears may spend up to six months in hibernation, during which they do not eat, drink, or expel waste. . . To see the bear’s den for yourself check out our new webcam from the link in our profile. . . This bear was first sighted on March 23rd and we’ll keep the camera up until the bear moves on for the summer. Video description: A black bear watches a bird from a hole in a tree.

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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 and 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. . . This black bear (Ursus americanus) was first sighted on March 23rd and we’ll keep this temporary camera up (link in profile) until the bear moves on for the summer. . Video description: A black bear rests, looks around, and yawns from a hole in a tree while the camera zooms in.

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Blink. Blink. Do you ever struggle just to keep your eyes open? 💤🐻 This Black Bear (Ursus americanus) knows how you feel! You might hit the snooze button for ten minutes but bears can take several weeks to fully emerge from hibernation! When temperatures warm up and food starts to become available, bears start to emerge from their dens. Male bears generally emerge first, usually from early to mid-March, followed by solitary females and females with yearlings or two-years olds in late March through mid-April. The last to emerge are females with newborn cubs, from mid April through early May. Males, subadults, solitary females, and females with yearlings or two-year-olds usually leave the vicinity of their den within a week of emergence while females with newborn cubs can remain in the general vicinity of the den for several more weeks. This bear has been sluggishly poking its head out since March 23rd. You can watch it emerge from hibernation LIVE on our new temporary webcam. (Link in Profile) Video description: A black bear rests in the hole of a tree.

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