Ely bear center looks at work-around for bear-den video streaming ban

Ely bear researcher Lynn Rogers has been battling the state Department of Natural Resources over his use of radio collars on black bears and his streaming of live video from bear dens.

As a prelude to an administrative hearing later this winter, Rogers was allowed to keep radio collars on 10 bears, but agreed to no hand-feeding or habituation.

He also was told to stop streaming video from inside bear dens to the public and schools; two bear-den cams could be used for peer-reviewed research and for DVDs distributed for educational purposes only.

On Sunday, though, Rogers’ Wildlife Research Institute of Ely announced a work-around of sorts that appears to be a way to let more people watch the bears.

Wrote Rogers on the website:

The DNR okayed den cams for research but not live streaming to the public or schools. Assuming things fall in place at Lily and Juliet’s dens (Jewel’s den is inaccessible), we will stream video live to us and the Den-Watchers. To abide by the court order, each person will have his or her own account with WildEarth.TV to make sure we are not streaming live to the public, which could cost us our permit during this critical time. Ironically, with Verizon having 4G LTE fully implemented, viewing should be the best ever. We’re hoping for a loosening of constraints after the hearing February 24-28, 2014.

WildEarth.TV has many cameras set up around the world transmitting live images on animals in the wild, but doesn’t seem to have the Ely bears up yet.

Rogers says he’s getting into social media in a big way. Lily the Black Bear even has her own Facebook page.

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