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Forum News Service, Published January 20 2013

A week after birth, new Minnesota cubs keeping warm in den

ELY, Minn. - The two newest members of Internet-famous black bear Lily’s family are spending the cold snap in the warmest possible place.

“It’s supposed to be 30 below, and what I’m sure we’ll see is Lily hunkered down over them, breathing on them,” Lynn Rogers of the North American Bear Center said Saturday of the 2-week-old cubs. “She’ll be using her front legs as walls and back legs as well, and having them snuggled in.”

Lily, who became an online sensation when she gave birth to a cub named Hope in 2010, gave birth to her latest cubs early on the morning of Jan. 12 in her den near Ely.

The cubs seem to be doing well, Rogers said on Saturday, although that is based only on hearing them. Viewers have yet to see the cubs on the online den cam.

“They have good, strong voices,” he said of the cubs. “Everything we’ve seen is what you’d expect for this time of the year.”

The cubs haven’t been named yet because their sex still is unknown, Rogers said.

Researchers placed cameras in two bear dens in the Ely area this winter. The other is in the den of Lily’s sister, Jewel. She is sharing it with yearling cubs Fern and Herbie.