Nature Matters: Den Drama

By KBJR News 1

February 14, 2011 Updated Feb 15, 2011 at 10:29 AM CDT

Ely, MN (Northlands Newscenter) Imagine spending your winter cramped in a small den, under the snow, with two new babies and a one year old.

That's the situation in Lily the black Bear's den under study near Ely.
David Hoole offers an update in this week's "Nature Matters".

Four Hundred Pound "Honey" the black bear takes a mid winter stroll at the North American Bear Center near Ely.

Her neighbors in captivity, "Ted" and "Lucky" are getting some new bedding in their den at the North American Bear Center. The three bears live there year round but curator Donna Andrews says there's drama in captivity just like in the wild.

"We see a lot of theft of bedding, Lucky steals Ted's bedding then when lucky goes to sleep Ted steals it back."

(nats... Hope and Lily)
Deep in the woods Lily, Hope, and the new cubs born in January, have also been awake and moving around.

"We're seeing the sweetest thing, Hope, the yearling, is being just like a big sister. She's like a cub to Lily and almost like a mother to the cubs. The other day when a cub got stuck with its Velcro claws on top of Hope's head you would have thought that Hope would have raked the bear off but no, she just very gently twisted her head to get that cub to drop.

All of Lily's family appears healthy but Rogers does have some concerns for the bears.

"What I'm afraid of is with them denning down in the cedar/alder swamp with all this snow is going to be flooded how are they gonna handle that? How are they gonna escape?

It could mean more drama yet to come. From the bear woods near Ely, I'm David Hoole for "Nature Matters".

You can watch the dencam at The North American Bear Center website.