Warm Temps Energize Jewel's Baby Bears

By KBJR News 1

February 2, 2012 Updated Feb 2, 2012 at 7:12 PM CST

ELY, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)--Black Bear Jewel's two cubs, born while researchers looked on via den cam in January are making a lot of noise these days.

Just 12 days old, the cubs are moving around in their den earlier than researchers expected and are considerably more vocal than black bear and internet phenom Lily's, cubs were.

Newborn cubs generally keep warm by lying close to their mother's body.

Bear researcher, Dr. Lynn Rogers said he didn't expect to see any major movement from the cubs until they were a minimum of two weeks old.

"We didn't realize they were going to have so much energy," Rogers said. "We saw some of this stuff just two or three days after they were born."

Dr. Rogers believes the warmer winter temperatures have jump–started an active lifestyle.

"They were up crawling on her back," Rogers said. "Surprised how growing, how strong they are. They weren't crying, I think they just wanted a breath of fresh air."

Because the sex of the cubs is still yet to be determined, researchers around the world call them Cub One and Cub Two.

To make the bears more identifiable, Dr. Rogers plans to move, refocus and clean the lens of the den cam on Friday.

"We want to know the sexes and identifying marks on their faces or whatever, so that people around the world can record better data about which cub is which that we are talking about," Rogers said.

Research shows bears usually come out of hibernation around the second week in April.

With the warmer temps, Dr. Rogers says he wouldn't be surprised if this year, bears left hibernation closer to the end of March.

He predicts the bears will be about five pounds when they come out of the den.

Jennifer Walch
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