WSU Bear Research Center


Here at the Washington State Bear Research Center the bears are out of hibernation and scientist used that time to conduct research.

The bears seemed to enjoy the spray of water as staffers cleaned out their cages.

Others showed their appetites, getting increasingly healthier after just a few weeks out of hibernation. The average bear can lose around one-hundred pounds during hibernation.

These grizzlies serve an important purpose.

Some research may correlate to cures for humans. Bears experience reversible insulin sensitivity which is equivalent to person experiencing Type 2 Diabetes.

"If we could figure out exactly what mechanisms are responsible for these types of changes in the bears and how they are able to dramatically change their response to insulin and glucose throughout the year it could have potential application for human health,” said Brandon Hutzenbiler the Facility Manager.

There are a total of eleven bears, seven adults and five juveniles.

Less than half were relocated from the wild.

"Of the adults five of them are adult females, three born here, two from the Yellowstone eco system the other two are adult males brought in from the Yellowstone ecosystem,” said Hutzenbiler

The two males are brothers.

They mated with the two wild females from Yellowstone and now have a total of four cubs, two boys and two girls all age three.

These bears are only brought in for safety reasons.

Hutzenbiler explained, "If the park service sees a bear coming into a campsite or an area that the public frequents they will often times try to remove that bear so there isn't a negative interaction with a camper."

With the bears, out of hibernation hopefully spring is around the corner you can view the bears for yourself at the research center.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off