Polar Bear experts are on hand during Polar Bear Cam season to weigh in on your frequently asked questions!
Today’s Question: Do polar bears hibernate?
Pregnant female polar bears dig a snow den, give birth, and emerge three months later. “After giving birth to one-pound cubs, the mother will nurse, clean, and protect the cubs, not leaving the den until the cubs are ready,” said Alysa McCall, Polar Bears International’s field programs manager and a polar bear biologist. During this time, the mother lives off her fat reserves; females can go for up to eight months without eating. But polar bears don’t hibernate in the strict sense of the word. True hibernators experience a marked drop in heart rate and body temperature and generally stay for a long period in a den. Adult males and non-pregnant females don’t den up at all.