ELY, Minn. (WCCO) – Jewel, a 3-year-old black bear in northern Minnesota, gave birth to at least two cubs before an online, worldwide audience this weekend, according to the Wildlife Research Institute.
Dr. Lynn Rogers, a Wildlife Research Institute senior biologist and chairman of the North American Bear Center, said Jewel gave birth to her first cub at 7:22 a.m. Sunday. She birthed the second at 8:40 a.m.
Watch the video below to see Jewel give birth.
“Each cub was greeted with motherly grunts,” Rogers is reported saying in a press release. “The cubs haven’t yet found their full voices and are limiting their cries to squeaks and chirps. When they are quiet, Jewel is quiet. When they cry, she answers with grunts as she moves to rectify whatever is wrong.”
According to the institute, the cubs are being monitored by more than 100 den-watchers around the world via a webcam in Jewel’s den. The den-watchers will monitor the family until the bears leave their den in April.
“So many people around the world are blending their technological knowledge to make this happen,” Rogers said. “Over 500 schools are following this bear family and watching along with us. What we do for science is having huge benefits for education. People are watching in 98 countries and developing a whole different attitude about bears and their willingness to share the land with them.”
According to Rogers, it is important to understand black bears as humans move into and share their habitat.
New-born black bear cubs weigh nearly a pound and are around nine-inches long and lightly colored, the institute said. They won’t be able to open their eyes until March.
Jewel is the younger sister of Lily, who gave birth before the Internet in 2010. One of the bears that Lily gave birth to was Hope, who is believed to have been killed by a hunter last year.