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When do black bears hibernate?

Have you noticed bears foraging around more recently? It's because they are preparing for winter.

When do black bears start hibernating?

Black bear spotted by paf1027

As the temperatures begin to drop, black bears in the United States start foraging for food to store as fat so they can hibernate and survive the winter months. Leading up to hibernation, bears consume 15,000 to 20,000 calories a day! During hibernation, they do not eat or drink and they slow their breathing rate, only taking a breath once every 45 seconds.

But, when do black bears start hibernation? Black bears start to hibernate at different times of the year in different parts of the country. In the eastern states (including Pennsylvania) bears begin to hibernate in late November or early December. During the time leading up to hibernation when black bears are foraging, they will search for any food possible. In the late fall and early winter, it’s a good idea to remove outdoor food sources from your property. Remove and store bird feeders, and keep garbage locked tight in trash cans or stored in a garage until trash day. Other animals that hibernate in Central PA are chipmunks, woodchucks, toads, black snakes and bats. Snap photos of these wild animals before they go into hibernation for the winter and upload them to the Eyes on Central PA mission on Project Noah!

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