Bear biologist offers tips about  black bears coming out of hibernation

March 2023

by Brian Whipkey, Pennsylvania Outdoors Columnist: 

Black bears appear to be healthy during this winter’s hibernation in Pennsylvania.

“So far, a lot of the bears are in good shape,” said Emily Carrollo, black bear program manager for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, during a mother bear den check Friday in northern Cambria County.

In considering this year’s and last year’s den checks, “Every single bear we went to had a beautiful coat and was fat and happy. And the cubs were in really good shape,” she said.

“We go to anywhere from a dozen to three dozen dens every year, depending on the research we have going on in the state of Pennsylvania,” she said. This year is an in-between research year, and the team is only checking on eight dens and a few yearling bears.

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