Meet Our Bears
Lugnut (ID 2097) was born to one of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s research bears (ID 2015 aka “Hubcap”) in January of 2004. Females in this long-term monitoring project are commonly nicknamed after the trapsite where they are first captured, and their daughters’ names often follow the same theme.
In late March that same year, biologists met the five pound Lugnut and her two brothers for the first time in an excavated den in Northern Maine. She spent the following winter of 2005 with her family in another excavated dirt mound. Weighing thirty pounds, she was equipped with her very first VHF radio collar. This allowed biologists to follow her movements for the next seven years to where we see her today.
Her first summer on her own was a bountiful one; she gained a remarkable 38lbs over the course of the foraging season, weighing eighty-eight pounds in the den the following winter! Natural food availability and abundance varies from year to year and this summer proved to be a good year for bear foods.
Early on, it became fairly obvious that Lugnut seemed to have an affinity for denning in the base of hollow cedars, which is not uncommon for young females in this study area. It is also common for bears to show preference to specific den types. Early in the winter of 2009, Lugnut, at 130lbs, gave birth to her first litter of cubs (two males) in the base of a big hollow cedar. She did a good job of raising her cubs as we saw them both the following winter weighing about 40lbs each.
Although Lugnut did not give birth to her 2nd litter of cubs last year as expected, she is pregnant this year! She has denned in a cavity of the uprooted sugar maple as you see on your screen.. She weighs close to 200lbs (this year being another great natural food year for bears). Lugnut should be giving birth soon!
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