Biologists with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), working in conjunction with researchers from Mississippi State University, recently completed their black bear den checks for 2013. This year’s den checks revealed two separate litters of cubs on private land in Bolivar County. A special video camera was installed at one of the dens which will allow the public a live peek at the life of a family of bears in Mississippi. “This is a very unique opportunity for people to witness something that most would never get to see in their lifetime,” says Brad Young, MDWFP Black Bear Program Leader. “To be able to spend time in the den of a black bear is obviously a rarity no matter where you live.”
“During the summer, female bears are trapped and fitted with special tracking collars,” says Young. “The following spring, we track those females to their dens to determine if they have had cubs.” The females are tranquilized, fitted with a new tracking collar, and given an overall health check to assess their condition. Any newborn cubs are temporarily removed from the den and given a similar workup. Once all biological information is collected, the cubs are returned to the den with their mother and the family group is left alone.
Viewers can see the live feed of the mother and her two cubs by visiting www.mdwfp.com/bearcam or www.ustream.tv/channel/mississippi-delta-bear-cam. The camera is live and there may be interruptions in the transmission, although we hope to maintain a live feed until the cubs leave the den.
Logo courtesy Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks