Bears in Ukraine are not hibernating due to warmer weather temperatures, and the result is that the animals have begun to suffer from what scientists are deeming insomnia. According to Newsweek, the Synevyr National Nature Park in southwest Ukraine announced in a Facebook post that despite the fact that all bears should be dormant during the winter, just three are in hibernation mode at present.
“The real winter in the region only lasted a week in early December. During this time, three bears, Benya, Duriy and Potapich, had fallen into a state of anabiosis. The rest are waiting for the frost,” the post explained. There are 32 bears total in the nature preserve — meaning over 90 percent of the animals at the park are not hibernating as they should be.
Temperatures in the eastern European nation — and the Svnevyr National Nature Park — have been substantially warmer than usual. It is currently averaging at around 4 degrees Celsius, which converts to a little over 39 degrees Fahrenheit. That is only five degrees away from the April average at the park of 44 degrees Fahrenheit — and April is usually when the bears emerge from hibernation.
However, there is one caveat to the story. The bears at the center have a slight disadvantage compared to wild bears when it comes to hibernation. The 32 were previously raised in captivity, which can alter the bear’s natural rhythm. Now that the bears in the Svnevyr National Nature Park, the scientists were working to restore their natural tendencies. Last year, they were successful with almost every single bear going into hibernation.
“Bears from the Rehabilitation Center… have lived all their lives in captivity, so the winter dream for them is an unknown phenomenon. The return of natural instincts and the rehabilitation of the psychological and physical state of bears is one of the main tasks of the center, which opened in December 2011,” the post explained.
Weather is an important aspect of the bear’s hibernating process. In the weeks leading up to the time, bears’ heart rates and body temperatures will drop, in addition to a decline in physical activity. The bears will finally find a den or other safe place to be dormant for the winter months when temperatures approach zero.
The effects can be seen in other bear species as well. Scientists have estimated that for every degree Celsius the temperature increases during winter, the black bear’s hibernation period decreases by six days.
Many scientists have been alarmed at the change in climate around the globe. In fact, philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates has proposed a new idea to fight global warming: a giant chemical cloud to cover the earth, as was previously reported by The Inquisitr.