As dark voids ‘midst the twigs and leaves Devouring mast of shrubs and trees, The black bears soon in den will lie, And fat they’ll sleep ‘till Spring draws nigh! (R Weisser 2012)
The black bears of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are very active in Autumn as they make their final preparations before denning for the winter.
Once they are fattened up, black bears can sleep for up to a hundred days without food or water. They do not become dehydrated.
During their facultative hibernation, bears can be aroused by noises or scents. They may leave the den for short periods of time and then return.
With an estimated bear population of about 1500, or roughly 2 per square mile, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the best places in North America to enjoy the experience black bears in the wild.