New life in bear dens

  • Article by: JIM GILBERT
  • Updated: January 26, 2012 - 10:48 PM



Now is the time when black bear cubs are born. Lily, the Internet-famous black bear hibernating in her den in a cedar swamp near Ely, gave birth to two cubs on Jan. 21 last year. The young arrive in late January or early February while mothers still are sleeping. At birth the young, usually two or three in number, are 6 to 8 inches long and only weigh 7 to 12 ounces, about 1/500th of the weight of their mother.

The peak time for bears going into their winter sleep in northern Minnesota is between late September and late October. They pull in pine needles and other leaves for a bed in a winter den that is usually dug under an overturned tree, but may also be a sheltered cave in a rock outcrop, a hollow tree or stump, a dense thicket or a stand of small evergreens.

A bear never gets up during the winter to eat but uses its fat storage until April when it comes out of hibernation.

Although the bear's winter sleep is called hibernation, it is not in a complete deep sleep like thirteen-lined ground squirrels. It is rare, indeed, that a bear cannot easily be aroused from its winter slumber in spite of the fact that it acts very drowsy.


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.


Atlanta 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Chicago Cubs 0
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - A. Burnett
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Kluber
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda 6:05 PM
Baltimore - M. Gonzalez
Pittsburgh - J. Locke 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - M. Latos
Miami - H. Alvarez 6:10 PM
NY Mets - Z. Wheeler
Toronto - M. Buehrle 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
LA Angels - G. Richards 7:05 PM
Texas - N. Tepesch
St. Louis - J. Kelly 7:10 PM
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo
Boston - J. Lackey 7:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Detroit - A. Sanchez 7:10 PM
Kansas City - D. Duffy
Minnesota - K. Johnson 7:40 PM
Colorado - J. De La Rosa
San Diego - J. Hahn 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Oakland - J. Samardzija 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Arizona - M. Bolsinger 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Lincecum
D.C. 10:00 PM
San Jose
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Ottawa 9:00 PM
Calgary 7/12/14 5:30 PM
Brt Columbia 7/12/14 8:30 PM
Edmonton 7/17/14 7:30 PM
Toronto 7/18/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 7/18/14 9:00 PM
Montreal 7/19/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Los Angeles 6:30 PM
New York
Seattle 7:00 PM
San Antonio
Phoenix 7:30 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question