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Bears Are Waking up from Hibernation, and They’re Hungry

Here’s a friendly PSA from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC): Bears are waking up from hibernation, and they’re hungry.

Black bears live in Missouri, mostly south of Interstate 44. However, MDC says as the animals’ population has grown, people have spotted bears outside of their core range in the state.

Now that spring has sprung, Missouri’s black bears are leaving their dens after waking up from hibernation—or, more accurately, after exiting “winter sleep” or dormancy. During dormancy, bears’ bodies use very little energy, but they are capable of rousing. They’re not true hibernators because their body temperature doesn’t drop to the extremes that true hibernators’ bodies do.

As the bears snap out of their seasonal slumber, they’re hungry—beary hungry.

MDC posted a PSA and encouraged locals to be bear safe by locking up trash and keeping pet food inside to keep from attracting hungry black bears.

The same goes for those outside of Missouri. For anyone in bear country, MDC’s post is a good reminder to be aware of the changes in animal behavior that spring brings and to adjust accordingly.

If you live, camp, or hike in areas of the U.S. where black or brown bears live, always store your food (and trash) in bear-safe containers. Carry bear spray and a bear horn, and never underestimate the power of a hungry bear.

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