Stories tagged bears

To paraphrase Jesse Jackson: "Hope is alive."

The missing bear cub was reunited yesterday with mom in northern Minnesota. Internet viewers have spent the winter/spring watching cub Hope and mother Lily through the birthing process and infant days. Here's the full, amazing story of their reunion. I believe the last thing heard from Lily after the initial emotional reunion was something to the effect: "Hope, you're grounded for the rest of the summer."

Here is YouTube video of yesterday's reunion posted by the North American Bear Center:

And here are previous Buzz posts on Hope and Lily:
Gone missing
Monitoring a bear birth

All the interwebs were aflutter when the Ely, MN based North American Bear Center turned a web camera on a hibernating bear, Lily, who shortly gave birth to a new cub named Hope. We've blogged about Lily and Hope before - a couple times.

Sadly, Hope has now gone missing and researchers at the bear center fear she may be dead. There are some interesting posts from their research staff that give you some insight into how little we know about these animals' behavior.

Did Lily abandon her cub? Did they just get separated? Is this normal behavior for these bears?

Bear Awareness Week

by Joe on May. 16th, 2010

Its bear awareness week and the Minnesota Zoo staged a very effective demonstration...

Lily, a 3-year-old pregnant black bear, made her den near a cabin in Ely, MN. Access to electricity, etc., meant that researchers were able to install a web cam in Lily's winter quarters. And today, their efforts may be rewarded. Biologist Lynn Rogers told the Associated Press that he thinks Lily's labor started today at around 2 pm. We should see cubs in the very near future.

Watch the live video stream for yourself. (A lot of people are trying to check it out. If you can't get through, try again later.)

JGordon hooked me up with this video of the Minnesota Zoo's grizzly bears taking on a 500-pound pumpkin. It's no contest: the pumpkin doesn't stand a chance. But the bears don't seem interested in eating the pumpkin, just destroying it. Why do bears hate pumpkins? :)

We post plenty of stories here on the Buzz telling the sad stories of impending, or completed, animal extinctions. Here's a great story on how over the past 50 years, Minnesota's surplus bear population has helped bring back Arkansas's nearly extinct bear population back from the brink. No word on what, if any, role Bill Clinton played in this effort.

I think it was about a year ago when there was report of a coyote found sitting inside a downtown Chicago Subway restaurant. Now here's video of an Alaskan black bear coming into and checking out the scene of an Kitimat, British Columbia Subway shop. It appears, however, that he/she didn't find anything appealing to his/her tastes. The important thing to learn from this video: the bathrooms are the safest location in any Subway shop.

We've had a lot of zoo posts lately in the Buzz. There's more happening at Como Zoo this weekend as Saturday marks the final day for polar bears Neil and Buzz to roam their small enclosure for a couple years. While it's getting an extreme makeover, they'll be hanging out with other polar bears in Buffalo, N.Y. Apparently global warming has nothing to do with this polar bear disappearance.


Giant Panda: Courtesy  drs2biz
Giant Panda: Courtesy drs2biz

Three new panda cubs were born in China this past week. The new births, brings the total of giant pandas born in captivity up to six for the year. The giant panda is an exotic, endangered species mostly found in China. China considers these pandas a national treasure.

One of the three new panda cubs has created quite the stir. Six-year-old Zhang Ka gave birth to the heaviest cub ever born in captivity after the longest labor period. The new cub weighed in at 218 grams (half a pound). Ordinarily, most cubs weigh between 83 and 190 grams at birth. Zhang Ka was in labor for 34 hours making her labor the longest in panda reproduction history. Reports say both the mother and cub are doing well.

Breeding giant pandas in captivity is a cumbersome task. Female pandas ovulate once a year with a tiny conception window. There is a minute window of 24 to 48 hours where artificial insemination methods are conducted. Overall, there are about 1,000 giant pandas living in the wild and about 140 pandas living in zoos and breeding centers around the world (however most are in China).

Giant Panda: Courtesy  Jellyrollhamster
Giant Panda: Courtesy Jellyrollhamster

Giant pandas are bear-like in shape with black and white coloration. Their ears, eye patches, legs and shoulder band are black while the rest of their body is white. Giant pandas live in temperate-zone bamboo forests in central China. Scientists are unsure of their life expectancies in the wild but in captivity the giant panda’s lifespan averages more than twenty years.

Just out of curiosity, what names would you pick for the new panda cubs?

Ligers generated a lot of interest in a previous blog entry. Recently, a DNA test confirmed the first documented case of a hybrid grizzly-polar bear in the wild in Canada's Northwest Territories. Read more about it here.