Bears are known to hibernate throughout winter but, from Russia and Finland to Canada and the US, there’s been multiple sightings of bears around the world. That might not sound too weird – but bears aren’t normally spotted this early in the year, which makes this pretty unusual.
They usually stay in hibernation – which is like a deep sleep that helps them to save energy – and survive the winter without eating much.
But Europe has just had its hottest ever winter – and the US also experienced warmer temperatures in December and January – which has been linked to climate change.
All of which has caused bears to be on the prowl a bit earlier than normal.
According to wildlife expert Alan Wright, the early emergence from hibernation isn’t good for the bears or humans.
What’s the impact on bears?
Alan, who works at the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, says the big issue for bears is around the availability of food.
“They’ll be looking for it and there won’t be a lot around – because a lot of the plants and smaller animals might not be there to feed them.”
Bears need food quickly after coming out from hibernation because soon, it’ll be breeding season.
He says there’ll be “a lot of cubs” that will be born with parents who won’t be strong enough to feed them “the right kind of food”.
“They could definitely suffer,” he adds. “It means a lot of cubs might not make it through spring.”