Action in the Dens – UPDATE January 25, 2013

Herbie with snow on muzzle - Jan 25, 2013Herbie with snow on muzzle - Jan 25, 2013Even though the high for today was only 10F, it was downright balmy for bears with thick winter coats.  There was action in both dens.  Lily’s head popped up above her wall of bedding several times, giving us hope for better views as the days grow longer and warmer. 

Jewel, Herbie, and Fern - Jan 25, 2013Jewel, Herbie, and Fern - Jan 25, 2013Lots of activity today in Jewel’s den.  Both Jewel and Herbie went to the entrance to lick snow—and Herbie even managed to clear the strand of gossamer (spider silk) that’s been hanging in front of the camera seemingly forever.  Thank you, Herbie!  Jewel raked bedding today—right up over Fern's back and tucked it down between them.  Last year we were puzzled when she tucked twigs under her when the cubs were particularly fussy.  At least today’s bedding was soft and fluffy.

Herbie chews a footpad - Jan 25, 2013Herbie chews a footpad - Jan 25, 2013Herbie spent considerable time biting and pulling at his footpads.  At one point he pulled off a chunk and chewed it.  Hearing chewing, Fern popped up to see what she was missing.  Not much.  Down again.

Jewel playfully bites Herbie's muzzle - Jan 25, 2013Jewel playfully bites Herbie's muzzle - Jan 25, 2013Today for the first time we saw play in Jewel’s den!  Jewel initiated play with Herbie.  Not long and not raucous, but play nonetheless.  We likely will be seeing more in the days ahead.

A video of the action in Jewel’s den has been posted at

Thank you for all you do.

—Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield, Biologists, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center

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