The call I’ve been waiting for came in—a bear that looks like Lily. It was! She is her same old self. She ignores me completely. But she knows its me. I can approach her without her looking up. I can touch her without her flinching. It felt good to see her and know she survived to be 14 years old despite the efforts of some to shoot her as a trophy. She is not lactating, although this is her year to have cubs. I can’t explain it. I never can. Sometimes that just happens and they have cubs the next year. That might be special. If we get a DNR permit to track her to a den and have a den cam, we will almost certainly see her have cubs.
When I get my current task done, my next effort will be to write a report about Spanky and file a request to the DNR to be granted a permit to use radio collars, track bears to dens, and put den cams in the dens that have the most scientific value. Another year of Lily with cubs would be at the top of the list to compare with her previous 4 years (2010-2013) when she was 3-6 years old. There are other bears that will accept radio collars that I’d also like to watch. I’m feeling hopeful.
Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center
Wildlife Research Institute
145 West Conan Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731 USA