Bears forget to hibernate in comfort

Bears forget to hibernate in comfort

KAYSERİ - Anadolu Agency
Bears forget to hibernate in comfort

The bears in the zoo are not hibernating despite the winter. They are pleased with their life, officials say. AA photo

Brown bears living in The Anadolu Harikalar Diyarı Zoo in the central Anatolian province of Kayseri, have forgotten to hibernate despite severe winter conditions in the region.

The zoo’s director and veterinary doctor Hilal Akbaş said they had five brown bears, three adults and two cubs, for six months. She said the bears hibernated in their natural environment in November and December and woke up between March and April.

“The bears in our zoo do not hibernate despite the cold winter. Even though we try to create a natural environment for them, it is not possible to provide it exactly. The comfort of animals is important in the zoo and the area where the bears are living is very good. The temperature is 32 centigrade and they do not have a problem finding food. For this reason, bears do not feel the need to make their body ready for winter conditions. They are pleased with their life and forget to hibernate,” she said.

Akbaş said the bears were preparing themselves for hibernation in the summer period, adding, “They eat oily foods in summer months and store oil in their body for winter. They consume this oil during their hibernation for five months. 200-300 gram of oil turns into protein every day and it keeps them alive. But because of the zoo conditions, they do not need it.”

She said the bears in the zoo were regularly eating fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, apples, lettuce, pears and carrots and this is why their body was not oily. “Normally, bears love fish, but they do not eat fish here although we always try to give it to them. They never consume red meat and rarely eat chicken.” she added.

Akbaş said they did not observe physiological changes in the bears when they do not hibernate, adding, “On the contrary, they are funnier and love to play with visitors and zoo officials.”