Questions and a New Couple - UPDATE June 6, 2020

Questions are coming in about Lily, Jewel, and Fern

Question: Is Lily still alive?
Here’s a video of Lily and her four yearlings’ last sighting together on Wednesday evening May 13, 2020 from 7:53 PM to 8:35 PM They saw a couple of the yearlings alone on Sunday, May 17 and reported that “family break-up has probably happened.” All the yearlings have distinctive blazes. WLily and her cubsLily and her cubse and the community will be keeping an eye out for Lily and her yearlings Marie, Kaiya, Dell, and Leroy. People are keeping records of these and other beloved bears in this community that has shown special caring about bears for over 50 years. It is an amazing story of peaceful coexistence. I don’t know of a more bear-friendly community. An example of that caring is the exquisite welcome set up for Lily and her yearlings as shown in the video. Lily is now 13 years old despite a major effort to gun her down in 2013 as shown in the BBC TV worldwide documentary ‘Lily, a Bear with a Bounty’ or the US version ‘Lily, a Bear’s Life.’ That effort was despite a judge’s order on July 28, 2013 for the DNR to discourage hunters from killing radio-collared bears. The effort resulted in 3 of our 8 remaining radio-collared bears being shot. We are glad Lily is still alive today

Question: Has anyone seen Jewel?
Jewel and four cubsJewel and four cubsYes! And her four cubs. Here’s a picture that someone from the community sent in two days ago. It is a profile picture of Jewel that shows the distinctive rounded bridge of her nose. The cub on the right is photobombing the camera with its tongue. This is the best view I’ve seen of the cubs. They look so much alike that it has been hard for anyone to determine the sex of each, so they are still unnamed. They have mostly been high in trees.

Question: What could have happened to Fern’s cub of last year?
I suspect that it was something like happened between Lily and Hope, but many such questions have gone unanswered without radio collars and den cams to provide answers. What we saw in 2010 and 2011 with Lily, Hope, Faith, and Jason was an amazing time of answering questions that we and other researchers could only speculate about before that. When a cub disappears, it isalways possible that a predator got it, of course, and we have documented that, but I believe that is uncommon based oTasha and LuckyTasha and Luckyn the numbers. As we continue to document Shadow’s clan, we have seen that in litters of one, only 5 of 8 cubs survived their first year despite the mother having to keep track of only the one cub. In 7 litters of four, all 28 cubs survived their first year.

A new couple seems to be Lucky and Tasha. Tasha went from being terrified of Lucky to being bitten by him and now spending time by his pen and going nose to nose with him as shown in this picture and 12-minute video:

Lucky still has his play partner Holly as shown in these short videos:

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center