ELY - Lily the Internet-famous black bear has given birth again, to a pair of cubs early Saturday morning in a den near Ely.
As with the birth of Hope in 2010, and Faith and Jason in 2011, the arrival of the two new cubs was broadcast live around the world via a Web camera placed in the den.
“Lily was restless Friday evening and surprised us by giving birth a week earlier than she has previously,” Lynn Rogers of the North American Bear Center said in a news release. “We’re thrilled to hear the sounds of healthy cubs.”
Lily, who is now 6 years old, gave birth to one cub just before 1 a.m. Saturday, and the other 20 minutes later. Newborn cubs typically weigh about a pound and are about nine inches long, the Bear Center reported in its news release. Cubs’ eyes usually remain closed until early March.
The births prompted a rush of activity Saturday on the “Lily the Black Bear” Facebook page, which has accumulated more than 146,000 “likes” in recent years. More than 100 volunteer den-watchers from around the world will continue recording observations about Lily and her cubs until they leave the den in spring.
The camera in Lily’s den is one of two that researchers have placed into dens near Ely this winter. The other, in the den of Lily’s sister, Jewel, shows her with yearling cubs Fern and Herbie.
The cubs born Saturday have not yet been named. In past years, the Bear Center has held a "name-the-cub" contest in the months after the cubs were born.