Loving the Cubs in High Def – UPDATE March 5, 2013
Lily’s cubs are at maximum cuteness! We’re at a loss for words. Watching their activities in high def (720P) and hearing their voices so clearly with the good microphone is so great. At this moment, both are nursing contentedly followed by Lily licking a cub to help it eliminate wastes.
At 5:50 PM, all 3 were having a quiet time. It was interesting to see how content the cubs were while Lily rested. Lily was breathing at a steady 4/minute, which is twice as fast as Jewel was breathing a couple days ago. A few minutes later, we were impressed when a cub crawled out onto Lily’s foreleg and was stroking it without a move from Lily. Then the cub tumbled off and away. Lily was instantly awake and at the cub, grunting her concern and pulling the cub back to her. Could it be that Lily has to stay more alert with cubs that need constant care and can’t fall into the slow breathing of a mother with yearlings?
Seeing Lily’s instant reaction reminded Lynn of a time decades ago when he saw a cub sleeping next to the mother in a den. Three people had snowshoed up to the den without a response from the mother. On a stupid impulse, he lay down and reached his arm its full length into the den and gently lifted the cub out. How the mother didn’t detect him is still beyond him. A few seconds later, the cub gave the tiniest cry. Lynn immediately put the cub back in the den and was met by the mother’s fully awake lunge to the entrance. He learned to be more careful.
Yesterday, one of Jewel’s yearlings kept twitching its ears as a ribbon dangled onto it as it nursed. Today, a ribbon became the object and victim of tug-of-war. Could they be doing what Jewel wouldn’t let us do last fall? We’re glad the ribbon is off. They have a few more to go. Right now, we’re wishing those ribbons weren’t quite so durable.
Thank you for all you do.
—Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield, Biologists, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center
All photos taken today unless otherwise noted.