Posts tagged: bear dens
WILDLIFE — Minnesota wildlife biologists have a long history with the oldest wild black bear known to be roaming free in the woods (videoed in her den, above).
Tagged No. 56 by researchers in 1981, the the 39-year-old sow is still in her winter den in the Chippewa National Forest.
According to the Duluth News Tribune, No. 56 has outlived virtually all of the 550 black bears the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources collared and tracked in the past four decades.
In addition to the research data, she's also produced about 28 cubs in her lifetime, with her last litter at the twilight age of 25. Nowadays, the old girl is no longer in the mood for parenting or exhaustive courtships, researchers say.
In the summer before denning this winter, No.56 mostly meandered around the forest and took a lot of long naps. Although she had recently lost some weight and a few teeth, biologists say she’s still in pretty good health.
March is the month bears normally begin emerging from their dens In the Rocky Mountains. Males generally are the first to come out. Sows with cubs usually emerge weeks later.
WILDLIFE WATCHING — At least two black bear cubs were born Sunday in a den monitored by a “den cam” that can be viewed online around the world.
The North American Bear Center in Ely, Minn., has compiled video of the birth (click on video above) — and the thorough bath the mother gives the first cub, which whimpers very much like a newborn human infant.
See more videos of the family as it evolves here. There may be a third cub.
The center's website has all sorts of details, photos and videos about bears, denning and hibernation.