Monday, January 25, 2010
Black Bear Blues
Lily. Image credit North American Bear Center
Among the latest video crazes to hit the internet is the 24/7 recording of a female black bear called Lily, as she waits out winter in her den. It's her time to rest, living off the fat she's stored after a major summer/fall eating binge. Lily had to prepare for what's to come because black bears give birth during hibernation. And this well-watched Mama has entertained the world by doing just that.
Check out the webcam.
I'm sure the camera is catching information which will lead to a new understanding of black beardom. But I can't help feeling sorry for Lily during the process. Think about it.
Millions of viewers watched her every move as she went into labor. After delivering a single cub, the high-fives resounded. Never mind the tortuous birthing process which did not include one drop of anesthesia. Lily wasn't happy. It's been rumored that while giving birth she kept growling through clenched teeth, "He'd better not come near me again or so help me I'll...!". Ah-hem. You get the picture.
Meanwhile, viewers continue to watch while Lily nurses, cleans and otherwise cares for her naked, helpless newborn through numerous sleepless nights. No one brings her a midnight snack. No cubsitter pops into her by-now-very-untidy den to help out. There's no getaway night out with the girls. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zip. Lily's on her own and she certainly has her paws full.
Never mind what the experts discover. I've already learned something from Lily's ordeal. It's the reason park officials warn us to be extra careful around bears after hibernation.
Because nothing can be more dangerous than a post-partum Mama.