History - UPDATE June 14, 2018

Three things came across my desk today that brought back good memories I’d like to share—two from 2007 and one from 2010.June and cub 2007June and cub 2007

On January 19, 2007, Sue and I went to June’s den and heard 3 squeaking newborn cubs. Snow was shallow enough that winter that we were able to get to that den many times to take high quality video for us to learn and for us to share. The word spread and we ended up getting calls from 9 TV programs that ended up broadcasting this side of bears in the US and England. The 3 cubs were Lily, Cal, and Bud who would go on to leave a legacy—especially in the case of Lily. To get the video, we’d set the video camera at the entrance, step back so we wouldn’t block light in the den, and watch the monitor. If there was a nice close-up to capture as in this video from February 21, I’d align the camera and zoom in. The cubs were about a month old, and their eyes weren’t open yet. Very cute, but not as cute as they become when their eyes opened. On July 6 that year, little Lucky arrived at the Bear Center. Lucky 2007Lucky 2007Later that summer, he was released into the big enclosure to be with Ted and Honey. He was cautious. One of his hiding places was in Ted’s preaching log as in the picture. He went on to play raucously with big Ted for years.

In 2010, Lily and Hope taught us and the world things about bears that no one had studied. Lily had a hormone conflict nursing only one cub. It wasn’t enough to prevent her from coming into estrus. She was torn. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZiPQevRCw0&t=187s

Lynn and Hope 2010Lynn and Hope 2010While she was off mating, we found little lost Hope with the help of many people driving the roads looking for her. Biologists postulated many hypotheses about why Lily would abandon her cub. Predictions about what might happen if she ever saw Hope, including killing her. What happened? We supplemented Hope’s wild diet to make sure she didn’t die. We and the world fell in love with her. On July 11, Lily and Hope naturally met up and remained together with Hope eventually becoming a second mother to her little sister Faith. So different from the predictions we had heard—as is much of what we and Lily Fans learned directly from the bears.

Many memories.

Thank you for all you do.

Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center

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