Bears and Wolves Stay Cool In Heat - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Bears and Wolves Stay Cool In Heat

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WEST YELLOWSTONE - With temperatures hitting near the 90's in southwest Montana, bears and wolves are finding ways to stay cool.

"They have a pond, a river, a waterfall," said AJ Chlebnik, Curator of Education at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. "Sometimes on days you'll see the bears under the waterfall letting the water fall on them."

Chlebnik says when temperatures reach the mid-eighties, bears are given treats to cool down.

"We give them ice treats, which is the bear version of popsicle. They will have bones, berries and juices in them for the bears to enjoy," said Chlebnik.

Bears in the wild will often conserve energy by building a day bed, a nice cool area in the dirt to sit and relax in.

"The bears are going to go in the deeper, thicker woods where it's going to be cooler temperatures. The taller grass and higher elevations helps keep them cool," said Randy Gravatt, Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center Facilities Manager.

Their food source might even change as temperatures rise.

"The bears might start looking for white bark pine as they move to a higher elevation," said Gravatt.

Wolves are much different than bears. They are not as active as bears.

"The wolves don't go swimming for fun. You won't see them swimming around splashing in their pond or in the stream like the bears do and that's just a difference in behavior," said Chlebnik.

Wolves will spend large portion of their day sleeping in the shade.

"We provide them with plenty of shade in the habitat such as trees, tunnels and ledges for them to lay under," said Chlebnik. "They seem to prefer being out in the habitat all day in their territory. They are very comfortable in that space and they will just come in once a day to eat."

Right now, wolves are still shedding their winter coats which helps cool them off.

"Wolves will have a summer coat, which is thinner and lighter than their winter coat," said Chlebnik. "When you look at our wolves right now you'll notice they're shedding puffs of winter fur everywhere."

If you want to see grizzly bears and wolves at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, it is open 365 days a year.

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