Friday, January 21, 2011

Two Black Bear Cubs Born Online

After last winter's phenomenon of Lily the Black Bear - in which a webcam in her den broadcast the birth of her cub Hope to thousands of viewers across the internet - Dr. Lynn Rogers and his team at Ely, Minnesota's North American Bear Center were determined to capture lightning in a bottle again this year, especially when it became apparent that Lily would likely be giving birth again.

Once Lily and Hope settled on their new den, Lynn and his researchers set up the new dencam, and today - with almost 10,000 viewers watching - Lily gave birth to two new cubs, one at 1:51 P.M. and the other at 3:03 P.M Central Time. Her back was turned to the camera to keep the cubs sheltered from the cold at the den entrance so there wasn't much to be seen and there still isn't. It could, in fact, be another month before the cubs are even seen on the camera.

In the last year, Lily has amassed over 100,000 fans on Facebook and that number will likely increase now that the birth of the new cubs is receiving so much media attention. The opportunity to watch Lily behaving like an animal and not like a monster has done a lot to help to tear down misconceptions about black bears and build public support for them. So many donations have poured in to the NABC as a result that it's almost eliminated their $700,000 debt!

Activity in the den seems to have settled down now, so two cubs may be the limit this year. The only way to know for sure is to keep watching. They can be seen at

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