ELY, Minn. - Lily, the now-famous black bear, and her new cub born Friday appear to be doing well after their big day on live webcast.
The bear apparently had only one cub Friday (some young sows have two) and tens of thousands of people have clicked on the http://www.bear.org/website/visit-us/lily-den-cam.html site to watch Lily sleep and take care of the cub - which so far has been camera shy.
Some viewers have reported seeing parts of the cub, including a paw, while the sow tends to it, including lots of licking. The cub also can be heard squawking on occasion.
About 10 inches of new snow has fallen in the Ely area since Sunday and bitter cold temperatures are forecast for this week. But Lily and the cub should be able to handle it.
According to recent blog entries from North American Bear Center researchers Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield, newborn cubs weigh only about 12 ounces and are about 9 inches long. By the time mother and cub leave the den in spring, the new cub will be about 9 pounds.
"We are hearing a lot of nursing, so Lily and the cub are doing well," Rogers reported in his latest entry. "One of these days someone is going to get a good enough look at the cub to know whether to call it a male or female."
The sow and cub are in a den at an undisclosed location near an Ely-area cabin. They are among several wild bears Rogers has gained the trust of and that he studies as part of his larger effort to change negative public perceptions about black bears.
Rogers is asking for the public's help monitoring the bear, noting that he and Mansfield simply can't stay awake 24/7 to watch developments on their computer monitor from a research cabin about four miles from lily's den.
"We're wondering if viewers can help record activities, with each volunteer covering a couple hours around the clock," he said, noting that volunteers would observe activity they see and noises they hear and even count how many breaths they see from Lily per minute. That may only be three or four breaths.
Interested observers who can volunteer to watch for a two-hour period can contact Rogers at email@example.com.
The Duluth News Tribune and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.