Boo the grizzly bear pokes his head through snow as he emerges from hibernation
A huge grizzly bear named Boo has been captured on camera emerging from hibernation in Canada.
Incredibly rare footage shows the animal shaking snow from his fur as he pads into the sunshine for the first time this year.
In a video which has since gone viral, Nicole Gangnon – who manages a refuge near Golden, in the Canadian Rockies – films Boo poking his head out before he fully gets up.
Watching from within the 20-acre enclosure at the Kicking Horse ski resort, Nicole is beside herself, shouting: ‘Eight years it took me to catch this moment! Oh, my big boy! Mumma’s so proud of you!’
Speaking to Metro.co.uk after the March 17 arrival, she explained: ‘He typically emerges mid March, so I knew any day he would be up.
‘I was working near the den (and) I could hear him stir inside his den.
‘I heard him start to tunnel out through the snow… That’s when I grabbed my cell phone and got on top of the roof of his den and began filming.’
Nicole has tried unsuccessfully for nearly a decade to capture such a scene, with the log cabin under the snow where Boo hibernates also serving as a makeshift laboratory that can be used to learn about bears.
After his mum was killed by poachers in 2002, Boo arrived at the refuge with brother Cari, who died during their first winter at the refuge.
But since then Boo has fascinated thousands of tourists at his enclosure.
Recalling when she first saw him this year, Nicole continued: ‘He knew I was there.
‘He can hear and even smell his surroundings even though he is under all that snow. Bears can smell about 2 metres through the snow and their nose is their best sense.
‘He is comfortable around me as I am one of his two primary caregivers, so he had no issues popping out with me right there.’