Bear Researchers Celebrate Birth of Two Bear Cubs

By KBJR News 1

January 14, 2013 Updated Jan 14, 2013 at 10:49 PM CDT

Ely, MN (NNCNOW.com) - It was an exciting weekend for researchers at the Wildlife Research Institute. Two newborn cubs were born to Lily the Black Bear, who became internet–famous when researchers first streamed her live birth over the web three years ago.

"This part of their life, the six months in the den, is the least studied part of their behavior," said bear researcher Dr. Lynn Rogers of the Wildlife Research Institute.

But the least studied part of a bear's life is becoming less so, because since 2010 Rogers and his team have been watching the hibernating bears via a camera placed in their den.

It's that type of access that Rogers says has provided great insight into bear behavior. He says he's noticed changes in the way the bears prepare their den and give birth.

"The first time she was on her stomach, second time she was kind of squatting, this last time she was in a more of a hospital position," said Rogers.

Rogers says more insight should come from a group of 130 volunteers from around the world, who have been taking turns listening to the noises the bears make, recording what they find in hope of gaining a better understanding of the ways bears communicate.

It's understanding that Rogers hopes will lead to education.

"It's the best way for people to learn," he said.

Rogers says people should be able to see the cubs on the den camera in about six weeks.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.