Watch Unsuspecting Construction Workers Wake a Hibernating Grizzly

Written by Colby Maxwell
Updated: October 18, 2023
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As the weather gets colder, all sorts of animals start to get ready for the winter. Squirrels hide acorns, birds prepare their nests, and bears get ready for hibernation! Sometimes, however, humans can get in the way of an animal preparing for winter, even if we didn’t mean to. As this video clip shows, waking up a hibernating grizzly bear is a lot like waking up a sleepy teenager for school!

Make sure you check out the short video clip below to see it for yourself!

The clip, posted a few years ago, details a rather comical, if unfortunate, scenario at a construction site. A bunch of workers are working on the side of this rocky outcropping. Using an excavator with a hammer attachment, the workers are trying to chip away at the side of the outcropping to clear some debris away.

As they soon realize, however, a hole in the rocky outcropping isn’t totally abandoned! Hiding (or sleeping) inside the hole is a massive grizzly bear. When the workers started pounding away at the rock surrounding the bear’s den, it was a bit of a rude wake-up call for the grizzly, who was just trying to get some shut-eye.

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Once the workers realize a bear is in the hole, they start trying to widen the hole in order to “encourage” the bear to come out. As you can imagine, the bear wasn’t all that happy about having his house destroyed! With some snarling and growling, the bear swipes at the excavator, hoping to dissuade it from chipping any more of his home away.

Habitat Loss Is One of the Biggest Threats to Grizzly Bears

Coastal Brown Grizzly bear carrying a salmon

Coastal Brown (Grizzly) bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) rely on salmon to survive.

©Kirk Hewlett/ via Getty Images

Even more, the grizzly tries to cover the hole back up and go back to sleep! Swiping more dirt into the hole, the bear is clearly just trying to make the construction crew leave it in peace. Sadly, as much as the bear wants to go back to sleep, it’s unlikely that the crew will pause construction until the bear is ready to leave.

Eventually, the hibernating grizzly bear has had enough and fully comes out of the hole. Once it fully emerges, it’s clear that this is a BIG bear the crew is messing with. Thankfully, the bear is more scared than angry, and once it sees the massive excavator, it takes off running. There are few things that a bear is afraid of, but a machine as loud as a jackhammer that can destroy its home? That makes the list!

It isn’t super clear where or when this event happened. The weather appeared to be sunny, however, so hopefully, the bear wasn’t actually hibernating and was just asleep in its den. If the bear had been prematurely pulled from its den during the middle of winter while it was hibernating, it would have required some help to make it through the cold months. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case. What’s for certain, though, is that the bear will have quite the story to tell its friends!

Is It Normal for Grizzly Bears to Hibernate?

grizzly bears

Bears spend the fall months eating as much as possible to put on fat for the cold winter ahead.

© Morrison

Grizzly bears are large, powerful mammals that are native to the North American continent. They are omnivorous, meaning they feed on both plants and animals. A grizzly bear’s typical diet consists of roots, berries, grasses, fish, and small mammals.

Grizzly bears are solitary animals and typically live alone. They spend most of their time in their own territories, which they mark with scent and vocalizations. They are mainly active during the day and rest during the night.

In the spring and summer months, grizzly bears are found foraging and foraging in areas with plenty of food. During the fall, they enter a period of hyperphagia, where they eat large amounts of food in order to prepare for hibernation.

Hibernation is a normal behavior among grizzly bears, and they typically enter their dens in late October or early November and emerge again in April or May. During hibernation, grizzly bears undergo a state of deep sleep, and their heart rate and body temperature drop significantly.

How Big Are Grizzly Bears?

Yellowstone grizzly bears can be at their most dangerous when they first emerge from hibernation.

All bears are at their most dangerous when they first emerge from hibernation.

©Paul Knowles/

Grizzly bears are some of the largest animals in North America, with adult males typically reaching sizes of 4-7 feet in length and weighing up to 700 pounds. Females are usually smaller, ranging from 3-5 feet in length and weighing up to 350 pounds. Baby grizzly bears, or cubs, are much smaller and weigh only about 3-5 pounds at birth. As they grow, they can reach up to 2-3 feet in length and up to 150 pounds in weight.

Grizzly bears are excellent swimmers and can cover long distances in water, often swimming up to 6 miles in one stretch. Adult grizzlies have also been known to climb trees, while cubs are limited to the ground until their claws and muscles are strong enough. Overall, grizzly bears are some of the largest land mammals in the world and can be found in a variety of habitats ranging from forests and mountains to tundras and even semi-desert scrubland.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Perpis/

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About the Author

Colby is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering outdoors, unique animal stories, and science news. Colby has been writing about science news and animals for five years and holds a bachelor's degree from SEU. A resident of NYC, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone about what birds he saw at his local birdfeeder.

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