Time for the winter coat

Published 11:30 am Thursday, January 4, 2024

Does the weather get so cold on Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge that a resident black bear (Ursus americanus) needs the extra furry coat as shown in this photo?

Last December (2022) the temperatures dropped from 60F to 18F in a two-day period. And there were three weeks where the temperature went from the 50s and 60s during the day down to freezing or near-freezing at night.

Black bears in this area do not hibernate, but they do slow down and sometimes go into a state of torpor, noted USFWS. Their metabolic rate, mental activity and body temperature all drop. Especially in torpor, an extra furry coat could come in handy.

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