Hey, it's past your bedtime

From southwestern Siberia in Russia comes news that there's plenty of fodder available to see the region's animals through the winter. As we'll soon see, that's good. Oh, sure: It's comforting to know, given how harsh the weather can be between the end of autumn and the arrival of spring. But that's just it: The weather hasn't been harsh so far. Take Kemerovo, 2,200 or so miles from Moscow, for example. Temperatures there have been so unseasonably mild that trees are budding again and perennial flowers are blooming for the second time this year. Where snow drifts normally would be piling up, the ground remains bare, even wet. Nice for the residents, right? Yes but there is a downside, too. Because of the freaky conditions, the wild bears aren't hibernating. Instead of being asleep in their dens by now, they're still out foraging restlessly for food to build up vital body fat – which is where the fodder comes in. Of course, this has the potential to bring them into unexpected contact with farmers, hunters, and other folks, not to mention other animals . No close encounters have been reported, but – just in case – special observer teams are monitoring the situation. To date, no one has blamed it all on global warming.

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