Many memories cross my mind as I think of all that should go into the book and as I work toward having another den cam with Lily this winter. The best research and education of my career was based on trust. With trust, we could see and share more about black bear life in the wild than had ever been possible. The trust that let June and her cubs ignore the researcher and go about their lives in this picture from May 18, 2007 is an example. Here, 6-year-old June is opening an ant log for Lily, Cal, and Bud a month and 2 days after they left their den. Lily is the dominant cub crowding her light face in closest to June, watching intently for ant larvae and pupae to appear, knowing that her mother would give way and let her and her siblings have these nutrients they could not have gotten on their own.
For this view and many like it, I am grateful to the bears and everyone who made this research possible.
Thank you for all you have done. I’m hoping that this winter will be a time of learning still more from Lily who, at 14, is in her peak reproductive years.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center
Wildlife Research Institute
145 West Conan Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731 USA