23 January 2010

Lily the Black Bear gives birth as the world watches

(photo credit: Lily the Bear Facebook)

Lily, a three-year-old wild black bear, gave birth to a single cub on Jan. 22 as people around the world watched a live feed broadcast from her den. The new mother is part of a long-term study of black bear ecology and behavior being administered by the Wildlife Research Institute in Minnesota.

Lily has become an internet sensation as record amounts of traffic hit the Lily Den Cam page on bear.org. She even has a Twitter account and Facebook page with over 58,000 fans. Lily’s personal interests according to her Facebook are, “food, food, and more food.”

In a message posted on the Lily Den Cam blog, Biologists Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield of the North American Bear Center write, “Watching the donation thermometer rise, we are thankful to all of you who share our passion to let people know about bears. People will not coexist with animals they fear. No one can replace misconceptions with facts about bears better than the bears themselves, and that’s where Lily comes in. We're looking forward to watching how Lily cares for this cub as it grows to as much as 9 pounds by mid-April—nearly twice the weight of cubs in multi-cub litters. We have never studied the relationship between a mother and a single cub to see how it might differ from the relationships between mothers and multiple cubs. We're looking forward to seeing how that relationship develops.”

The North American Bear Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to replacing misconceptions about bears with accurate scientific facts.

Watch Lily The Bear give birth:

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