Lily and Faith are still where they were a couple days ago, probably eating willow catkins or perhaps finding snowfleas (Colembola). We’ll check the area as soon as they move on. Our current plan is to remove the Den Cam equipment from Lily’s den tomorrow.
It’s interesting that if the bears in this area are hungry, they can go to any of a dozen houses that feed bears, but they aren’t doing that. A house with dog food is only 350 yards from Lily and Faith’s den, but they headed a third to a half mile the other way to do whatever wild thing they are doing. June’s territory arcs around the Bear Head Lake State Park Campground, but she has never been there.
Lucky is the possessor of the den for the moment. Honey is napping in the window den. Such use of dens will soon end. Ted, Honey, and Lucky seldom use them in summer. In the wild, in all the time we’ve spent watching bears we have never seen a bear take a nap in a den in the summer. They check out dens for future use but soon move on. We don’t understand this because it should be cool in some of the dens.
We are happy to see our paper “Fatal disseminated blastomycosis in a free-ranging American black bear (Ursus americanus)” in a form about ready to submit to a veterinary journal today. It’s about the death of old Midge (26 years old) from the first reported case of blastomycosis in a black bear. The study area is a focal area for that disease in humans, dogs, and the only reported case of blastomycosis in a wolf.
One of the great benefits of our trust-based methods is that we see bears close-up and can recognize bears that are in failing health. When Sue looked into the eyes of Midge in late 2009, she said, “I think I’m looking into the eyes of a dying bear.” There was nothing we could do but keep close track of her and try to learn a bit about the problems wild bears face. In November, she died and we were able to get to her and get her to the University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in St Paul before tissue deterioration progressed. The veterinarian specialists there examined her in greater detail than anyone could imagine. She may be the oldest black bear ever necropsied. They and we looked for every sign of aging. We found that her aorta was squeaky clean—no plaque whatsoever—despite the typically high cholesterol levels bears have.
It was the same story for the death of Mimi. We saw little Mimi lethargic one afternoon, and a few hours later she was dead—not quite like it was portrayed in the movie. We were on top of it and documented the only wild case of sarcocystosis in a black bear—another paper we want to publish in a veterinary journal. Within an hour of her death, we had her to an experienced veterinarian for a thorough necropsy to preserve fresh tissues for histological examination at a laboratory. However, a new restriction in our permit will make it more difficult to obtain such data in the future.
Here are 3 stories about Dana Coleman’s first grade class attempting to have the legislature make the black bear Minnesota’s State Mammal. One is in Outdoor Life, another was on KSTP TV, and the third is a big one in the Union Eagle Newspaper. We applaud all the work Dana and the students did to bring this as far as it went. The decision by the committee in the House of Representatives not to hear it this year was very disappointing to us and them. We'll see what happens next.
This was a big effort by a lot of people, and it deserves a better end.
Thank you for all you do.
—Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield, Biologists, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center
ANNOUNCEMENT: ‘Lily the Black Bear’ Facebook page has moved to the new Timeline format. These hints may help you navigate the page. Hopefully we’ll all get used to it soon!
Facebook is taking on a new look. We were given until March 31 to switch over, but rather than be caught off guard we decided to switch a couple days early.
There are several options to view posts/comments on Lily the Black Bear with this new format.
The key to selecting your viewing options is finding the box that is centered above the vertical dividing line that splits the page. Follow the center line up to the box (directly under the Photos/Forum/Videos links. Click on the box and you will see 4 options:
Highlights – This is what Facebook determines is important. However, you can view a running list of ALL Fan’s posts by clicking “See All” on the far right hand side, next to “Recent Posts by Others on Lily the Black Bear”. It will open a pop-up window that will allow you to scroll in order of time posted.
Friend Activity – You will only see posts by those individuals you have on your personal friends list.
Posts By Page – Only posts by Lily the Black Bear are in this view, primarily daily updates.
Posts By Others – You will see posts by everyone except for Lily the Black Bear. This includes photographs and links. Be aware, as new posts are added to the page the postings will move down and switch sides (left, right, left, etc.) as they do. There is a dot on the center line that shows the order and each post will have an arrow pointing to the dot.
You can find the links to den cams and other information by clicking the “About” link above the posts and comments, to the right of Photos/Forum/Videos. Remember to click the “See More” to get all the information to show.