Lily Fans have named Holly’s den mate ‘Vinny the Vole.’ This video shows how they react to each other http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tNptkjhz_s. It also shows how Holly has mastered the straw. She rakes it like a pro even though her mother would normally do such tasks in the wild, as we saw back in the 1970’s when we set up a 24-hour a day vigil to watch a mother and cubs make a den one fall. The blanket doesn’t fit into her plan and is mostly ignored. We wouldn’t be surprised if the vole is using it more than she is. We look forward to getting to know Holly in the spring. We want to see how she and Lucky are getting to know each other right now through the 4-inch hole. We hope to raise the camera slightly to see that better.
One of the Den-Watchers monitoring and recording Juliet’s activities is also a teacher. She expressed her feelings in an email today. “First, thank-you so much for another wonderful den cam. I have just finished my den watch shift and I am angrier than ever that this cam is not live. The quality of the picture and sound is truly like being there. And the den has such depth and complexities. If I was in a classroom today and the cam was up we could learn all about guard hairs. It is incomprehensible for a state agency to cheat the public school systems with their limited resources out of this quality learning tool. Just sad.”
We are hearing similar feelings with regard to our being prohibited from showing Juliet and her upcoming birth live to nursing homes, hospitals, public schools, home schools, scientists, graduate students studying hibernation, Lily Fans, … really anyone who wants to learn about bear behavior. We’re looking forward to the permit hearing in St. Paul February 24-28 and March 3-5. It’s open to the public and we’re told the hearing room has seating for 200.
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.
Wildlife Research Institute
145 West Conan Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731 USA