Nature Matters: Black Bear Update

By KBJR News 1

April 25, 2011 Updated Apr 26, 2011 at 8:48 AM CDT

Duluth MN (Northland's NewsCenter) Warm spring weather has arrived across the northland.
Temperatures in the 60's have both people and wildlife thinking about summer.

In this week's nature matters David Hoole offers an update on Lily and her family of black bears in the woods near Ely....

The snowpack is finally receding in the bear woods near Ely.
Biologists Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield say that Mother bear Lily, yearling Hope, and new cub Faith have been away from their winter den for almost a full month now.

The most watched family of wild bears in the world has faced tragedy this spring. On April 12th Hope's brother cub named Jason died.

Official veterinary autopsy results haven't been released yet but initial reports say he had a knee joint that was swollen to three times normal size.

Researchers say the injury may have contributed to the cub's death.
The three healthy bears are now in familiar territory, staying in the same area Lily spent time as a cub and where she took Hope, last spring.

Researchers report the bears spend much of their time playing, digging grubs, and eating snow fleas, while they wait for green-up in the woods.

Lily fans on Facebook continue their do-gooding ways, voting for an International Wolf Center cash prize, and voting in a reader's digest poll trying to win money for Ely. A class of First Graders has started an online petition to name the black bear as Minnesota's state Mammal.
The biologists say the newest cub, Faith seems healthy and has been seen happily playing with Hope and Lily. I'm David Hoole for nature matters.

You can read the research updates, and get in on the voting for the Ely area on the bear center's website.