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Warm winter keeps male bears in Russia’s North Caucasus off their dens

January 16, 19:42 UTC+3 KRASNODAR

About 170 "non-sleeping" bears are roaming southern and northern mountain slopes at an altitude of 1,500 meters, according to a research fellow at the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve

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© Valery Matytsin/TASS

KRASNODAR, January 16. /TASS/. The untypically warm weather is keeping male bears from going into hibernation in the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve, spokeswoman Olga Turishcheva told TASS on Tuesday.

"As the winter is untypically warm, a number of males have not yet gone into hibernation, which depends on weather conditions," she said.

According to Anatoly Kudaktin, a research fellow, the number of bears that are not hibernating may change as days pass by. "Some of our bears enter their dens to hibernate in January. However, some never go down at all if winter is warm. They are small animals that will never grow big," he said.

In his words, about 170 "non-sleeping" bears are roaming southern and northern mountain slopes at an altitude of 1,500 meters, Kudatkov said. "This is for the first time in my 30-year career when so many bears are not hibernating this time of year. I have even seen a female with cubs going about. That’s nonsense," he said, adding that pregnant females usually den first, followed by females with young, subadults, and lastly, adult males.

With an overall area of more than 280,000 hectares, the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve is located in three Russian constituent regions, namely the Krasnodar Territory and the Republics of Adygea and Karachay-Cherkessia.

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