Bear Gives Birth Before a Nationwide Audience

Jewel, a 3-year-old black bear, gave birth to two cubs in her Ely, Minn., den — and it was all captured via a live webcam that more than 500 schools have been monitoring in anticipation.

The Wildlife Research Institute announced that the cubs were born on Sunday at 7:22 A.M. and 8:40 A.M.

“Jewel became active and greeted each cub with motherly grunts,” stated biologists Lynn Rogers and Susan Mansfield on the organization’s web site. “When they were quiet, Jewel was quiet. When they gave their squeaks and chirps, Jewel answered with attentive grunts and moved to rectify whatever was wrong.”

Den Watch Coordinator Dr. Janet Dalton further described the births: “She has protected it, groomed it, fed it and has been extremely talkative towards it — far more than I can recall other mothers to be at this stage. It's just a pure delight to witness. We are so lucky.”

The Wildlife Research Institute also recorded the 2010 birth of a bear named Hope, who was unfortunately killed by a hunter last year. These cubs are expected to open their eyes in early March, and the family will leave the den in April.


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