Taste of things to come

Update March 5, 2010 – 8:30 PM CST

Today has been an exciting day for den-watching!  We got perhaps our best and longest views of Hope.  The temperature has been unseasonably warm (mid-40s F) and likely contributed to the action we saw in the den.  Also, Hope is growing fast and becoming more active.  Today is just a taste of things to come.  Den viewing will just get better and better over the next 5-6 weeks as spring nears and Hope matures.  I’m waiting for the day when Hope crawls out and sniffs the camera lens….

Today we watched as Lily groomed herself extensively—especially around her nipples.  She likely was cleaning up after Hope.  She also chewed up several twigs; possibly to create more bedding material but more likely just idle chewing.  Whenever a bear slips its radio-collar in the den we find it in shreds the next spring.  Bears have big teeth.  Bears chew.  And there isn’t always a reason.

Lily's den - March 3, 2010Some of you have been concerned about Lily’s apparent need for snow and the seeming lack of snow near her den.  I am including a picture taken at her den Mar 3 – as you can see there is plenty of snow just outside her den.  If you look closely at the picture you will see she has taken a couple bites of snow from the upper right of the den entrance.  The dog tracks Lynn found when he visited the den were to the right of the entrance.  You will notice there are 2 ‘tubes’ there now.  The one on the right holds the camera, and the one that reads ‘Bear Cam’ is the new microphone.

Lynn Rogers and Lily Lynn Rogers spent today in a studio recording narration for the Animal Planet version of ‘Bearwalker of the Northwoods’.  Because the movie has been cut from 60 mins to 43 mins to allow for commercials, the script needed to be changed as well.  I watched ‘Bearwalker’ again today to pull still images from it, and, even after having seen it multiple times, I find it very moving.  It’s a must-see to better understand our research.  It will air Sunday, April 4 as part of Animal Planet’s Wild Kingdom series.  The image at the left is Lynn and 15-month-old Lily taken during the filming of 'Bearwalker.'

A special thank you to those who issued a challenge on Lily’s Facebook discussion tab, entitled ‘You know you are Lilly cam addicted when’ for a total pledge of $2.10 for each tale submitted.  I couldn’t keep from laughing out loud as I read through the submissions—and laughing at myself because I was ‘guilty’ of many of those same things.  Thank you for putting the ‘fun’ in fundraising!

Thank you for your continued support of our work.  We have received some good responses from our request for taxidermy and items for the ‘touch and feel’ table in the Bear Center’s Cub Room—but could always use more items and suggestions.

—Sue Mansfield, Biologist, North American Bear Center