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A Parks Canada official spots a grizzly bear wandering in search of spring.

Alberta bear emerges from hibernation

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Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 3:41 PM -

It might not be the first bear to emerge from hibernation in Canada this season, but for sure it's the first one anyone has caught on camera.

The grizzly bear in the video above was spotted a couple of days ago about 15 km west of the town of Banff, Alta., by a railway crew who reported it to Parks Canada.

Banff National Park resource officer Mike Grande investigated and filmed the animal, a 225-kilogram male.

Grande says it still seemed to have a good amount of winter fat, and likely came out of hibernation early due to recent warm weather in the region.

"If it had been a little bit cooler when he first poked his head out, then maybe he would have stayed in a little bit longer," Grande told the Canadian Press. "In terms of an emergence, this is about as early as it normally happens. That's not a bad sign for sure."

Grande says the bear likely went into hibernation around late December, and bears usually emerge from their dens beginning around early April. Females with cubs usually emerge in May.

Grande also told the Calgary Sun that there was a possible black bear sighting in Kootenay National Park

He said the bear might have been looking for a familiar feeding ground, and bears sometimes check avalanche parks for carcasses of animals swept up in slides.

RELATED: Father and son die in Lake Louise avalanche.

With files from the Canadian Press.

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