22 January 2010

Birth of black bears being recorded on webcam

The North American Bear Center (in Ely, Minnesota) has a webcam positioned in the den of Lily, a pregnant black bear.  They are posting updates from the DenCam -
Lily is keeping over 14,000 viewers in suspense.  Among them are the researchers who stayed up all night logging bouts of labor and being amazed at Lily’s occasional body slams.  We suspect hard cramps are what make her slam her body around in the den so hard the camera shakes and booms.  We have never heard of such behavior.  Is this common during labor, or is it unique to Lily.   We first observed labor yesterday at 1:59 PM CST (we’re in Minnesota) as Lily lay on her back flexing the muscles of her head as she clenched her teeth for 41 minutes.
Now that she is in labor the traffic to the website is enormous, and it may be difficult to view the webcam feed live.

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