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Jewel (The Bear) Gives Birth To (At Least) Two Cubs

Jewel cleans her cub shortly after giving birth.
Wildlife Research Institute
Jewel cleans her cub shortly after giving birth.

Here's your dose of cute for the day: Jewel, the black bear from Ely, Minn., gave birth to at least two cubs Sunday morning.

As Mark noted last week, Jewel like Decorah, the eagle, became an Internet star after a webcam was placed in her den. Over the past week, web-viewers have been anxiously waiting for babies.

According to the Wildlife Research Institute, at 7:22 a.m., Jewel gave birth to her first cub. Another one followed at 8:40 a.m. Here's the video and don't worry it's not graphic, instead you'll hear the cubs' first cries, which, strangely, sound human:

The Duluth News Tribune reports that researchers think a third cub might have been born at 9:08 a.m.

"We're wondering if the flurry of grunts we heard at that time could mean there was another birth or whether she was just responding to the vocalizations of the other two cubs," Lynn Rogers, a biologist at the wildlife institute told the Tribune.

Rogers told local station WCCO that black bear cubs weigh about a pound at birth and these cubs won't open their eyes until March.

You can also watch Jewel tend to her new family live. There's quite a bit of action: Every once in a while the cubs cry and Jewel does her best to console them.

WCCO provides a bit of background on Jewel and her family:

"Jewel is the younger sister of Lily, who gave birth before the Internet in 2010.One of the bears that Lily gave birth to was Hope, who is believed to have been killed by a hunter last year."

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.