23 January 2010

Cub in the den, cub in the den!

Lily had her cub yesterday at 11:38 am CT.
As far as the researchers know, she had just one cub,
judging by her actions and the sounds coming from the cub. 
She will keep the cub hidden for quite some time as it stays warm and nurses huddled up in her body. 

According to the biologist Sue Mansfield :
"The cubs will be nearly hairless when born so should appear much lighter than Lily. She will likely keep them closely tucked beneath her and we may not even see them – but we should hear them. They will cry if they are cold or hungry. When cubs are comfortable and content they make a motor-like humming sound. There will be no doubt about the fact there are cubs in the den! "

Lily in labor

While we await the opportunity to see peeks of the cub, 
the other real story of this event is the passionate work of Dr. Lynn Rogers.
How exciting for him to not only witness for the first time a live birth of a cub in his 43 years of studying bears but also to share this event 
over the internet with 50,000 real-time viewers.
And there will be plenty more internet excitement to come as this little cub grows and finally leaves the den in mid-April.

There are always jokes about how Minnesotans get through the winter, 
even accusing us of "sleeping with bears" to pass the season.
Well now with our native bear Lily, there might be some truth to that saying.

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