ELY, MN — A world-famous black bear named Lily is preparing to give birth for a second year in a row and a research study is once again broadcasting the event worldwide via a live webcam in her den. But unlike last year, when Lily gave birth to baby bear Hope in Ely, this year she chose a den in a remote area of northern Minnesota.
The den is located in a forest near the Canadian border, about 25 miles from Ely and 10 miles from the nearest road, where there is not a readily available way to access the Internet.
The North American Bear Center and Whitewolf Entertainment Inc. are conducting the research study and turned to Verizon Wireless to utilize the company's 3G broadband network, which covers northern Minnesota. Researchers are hoping to learn more about the patterns and physical transformations of hibernating bears, along with learning about the relationship between mother bears and their cubs while sharing the live streaming video with people around the world.
"When Lily chose her remote location, we knew that we needed a dependable connection to view what was happening in the den at all times. There's no way we could have streamed this video without the reliable 3G technology from Verizon Wireless," said Doug Hajicek, President of Whitewolf Entertainment. "This year is even more important to capture on live web stream as Hope, the bear cub born last year, has joined Lily in the den and will be present when Lily gives birth to the new cub, which is a very rare occurrence."
Verizon Wireless provided a PC card and unlimited data service to connect a variety of highly developed equipment that are being used to monitor the bear including high-tech cameras, back-up power techniques, unique deep cycle batteries and much more.
"We are thrilled to be part of such an amazing educational project," said Seamus Hyland, president-Great Plains Region, Verizon Wireless. "Because our 3G network service is available throughout Minnesota, we have been able to help researchers and people around the world witness this rare event."
Last year was the first year a live-video stream was placed in the den of a pregnant bear. Researchers from around the U.S. gathered valuable information about what happens after the birth of a bear and the physiological effects before and after the birth.
For more information or to watch the live-stream of the bear den visit http://www.wildearth.tv/lily-black-bear-den or www.bear.org. To learn about other Verizon Wireless technologies visit www.verizonwireless.com.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's fastest and most advanced 4G network and largest and most reliable 3G network, and serves more than 93 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 80,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.