News, 08/01/2018

Bears Keep Awake and Plants Bloom in Abnormally Warm Winter

While these days the USA is enduring heavy snowfalls and the lowest-ever temperatures due to the fierce bomb cyclone, Kharkivites observe the spring-like weather and warming up to 10 degrees Celsius this winter.

This unexpected nature cataclysm confused the inhabitants of Kharkiv Zoo, where most of the bears did not hibernate because of the warm weather.

Kharkiv Zoo has ten bears, including six brown, three Himalayan and one Polar bear. Only three brown bears have gone into hibernation. However, the zoologists say this situation is not critical for the animals. The bears will settle in their lairs as soon as frosts begin.


Anomalous winter warmth has also caused early plant growth in the Botanical Garden of Kharkiv National University. Some species of trees are almost ready to bloom.

Botanists note that as a rule, the buds on the willow appear at the end of March, not at Christmas time. Similar buds have appeared on lilacs, magnolias and many other trees. “Everything seems to have woken up from the winter’s hibernation, ignoring the calendar deadlines,” say the Botanical Garden employees. The snowdrops have emerged from under the leaves and started to bloom, the botanists observed some celandines and even a dandelion blooming.

“If there is a sharp freeze soon, the plants can be damaged or die,” director of the Botanical Garden Oleksander Alekhin reports. Therefore, the scientists hope for the soft snowy winter later on.

Text: Olena Sokolynska

Photo: SQ, Vitaliy Novikov