Remember Lily the Bear? If the name doesn't ring a bell, you might recall she was the reason why the Great Smoky Mountains lost a $100,000 grant from Coca-Cola back in August. The Smokies got shellacked in the online voting contest to Bear Head Lake State Park out of Minnesota.
Apparently Lily was, and still is, a local celebrity. When her fans learned that she spends a good portion of her time in the park, they wanted to do something to help out. Thus, the come-from-behind victory during the month-long contest.
Lily is now a three-year-old wild black bear who is part of Dr. Lynn Rogers' long-term study of black bear ecology and behavior at the Wildlife Research Institute. On January 8, 2010, Dr. Rogers installed a live video camera in Lily's winter den near Ely, Minnesota so the public could share in the birth and care of her cub (named Hope). It was the first time the birth of a wild black bear had ever been viewed live on the Internet.
This year, Lily had the first mixed age litter ever studied in a den, and the light colored cub might be the first brown cub in the clan being studying.
Lily and Hope are proving to be some of the best ambassadors for bears themselves. Fans of Lily are learning about bears from the bears themselves. They're seeing an animal far different from the ferocious image usually displayed by the media.
During Hope's first couple of weeks, hundreds of classrooms began each day watching the Lily Den Cam, and then going on to include Lily and Hope in lessons throughout the day.
Below is the latest webcam video from the den to be posted on Youtube:
You can visit http://www.bearstudy.org/ to learn more about the research and the bears who are part of it. You can also visit http://www.bear.org/ to view the live den cam.