Twins or triplets? Bear watchers stay glued to Ely's Lilycam
While researchers know at least two cubs were born Friday to Lily the black bear near Ely, whether there's a third remains to be seen.
"Every day that goes by without verifying three, we're thinking two," said Lynn Rogers of the North American Bear Center.
Some observing a Web camera outside the bears' den said a third cub could have been born just after the second and more reports came close to midnight Friday that a third could have been born at that time.
"We reviewed video a lot yesterday, especially in places they thought there might be three," he said. "It's a confusing thing with the cubs and their motor-like hum and thinking there might be a third harmonic sound in it. But we've only heard two voices at the maximum."
The cubs they have seen and heard seem to be healthy and strong based on their cries, and Lily is responding to those cries, Rogers said.
The 1-year-old cub, Hope, also is doing well in the den, allowing the new cubs to nurse, but she is getting her share as well, Rogers said.
He said it's still too early to say with certainty the sex of the cubs, but based on what they've been able to see so far, he believes one is male and the other female.
"It's our first thought," he said. "But one climbing up the side (of the den) ... you could just see his hindquarters and it made me think, ha, that's a male."
He is less sure that the other is a female.
"It's pretty sketchy at this point," he said.
He said naming the cubs will have to wait until they determine the sex of each.
"In the meantime we might get some idea of the cubs' personalities," he said.