the story so far

Five-year-old Lily has taught the world more about life in black bear dens than ever thought possible. Thousands around the world watched as Lily labored to give birth to Hope on January 22, 2010 and to Faith and Jason on January 21, 2011. Lily’s family touched the lives of those who watched the tender, often playful, interactions that are part of family care in black bears. Jason died from an infection in April 2011 and Hope’s life was cut short by a hunter in September. Lily, and her remaining cub Faith, denned together in this 7 foot deep rock den. She is no longer in the den but outside with Faith.

Lily is the daughter from June’s second litter. June’s mother is Shadow who is Lily’s grandmother and the matriarch of the bear clan that lives in this area.

Lily is part of a long-term study of black bear ecology and behavior being conducted by the North American Bear Center ( and the Wildlife Research Institute ( near Ely, Minnesota.

May 6th 2012

Today was the first showing of Planet Earth Live. We watched the show live with members of the crew. The BBC crew pulled this complex operation off masterfully. Julia Bradbury was excellent. Her emotions were genuine. The music fit the scenes wonderfully. The bears stole the show in our opinion and from the reactions on the Planet Earth Live twitter hashtag #planetearthlive and on the BBC Facebook page at.

May 6th - BBC Broadcast update

Today, Lily and Faith paid a rare visit to the field station. We attempted to lure them onto the scale to get weights, but Lily was on a mission. We’re not sure what mission, but it was not about food. Lily ignored us and the fresh raw nuts we offered. She intently sniffed the ground, objects, and the air. Faith tagged along with her. We knew mature males had been through the area less than 12 hours before. Was she investigating their scent? We know from the literature on mouse studies that the scent of male mice helps bring female mice into estrus. Does Lily’s interest in those scents—to the point of not being interested in food—suggest that she will come into estrus soon with family break-up to follow? Is the mere presence of males a trigger for family break-up even when they are not right there on the scene? For more info read …

The Bear Center

The mission of the non-profit North American Bear Center (NABC) is to advance the long-term survival of bears worldwide by replacing misconceptions with scientific facts about bears, their role in ecosystems, and their relations with humans.

There is a huge need for accurate information about bears worldwide.

Bears have been unfairly demonized for centuries. Exaggerated perceptions of danger historically led to eradication campaigns using bounties, poison, trapping, and shooting. All eight bear species around the world are now listed as vulnerable, threatened or endangered in all, or portions, of their ranges. Remote habitats that once insured isolation and protection are now being occupied by people, and the attitudes of these people will determine the future of those populations.

The Bear Center is dedicated to replacing misconceptions with facts worldwide. It is also working to conserve bear habitat, stop poaching for bear body parts, rehabilitate injured and orphaned bears back to the wild, and implement methods to reduce conflict between humans and bears. and