A yearling bear whose birth in the wild in 2010 was broadcast via web-cam may have been killed by a hunter recently near Ely, MN.
The Associated Press has the story, HERE, on the Minnesota Public Radio web site.
Lynn Rogers, of the North American Bear Center and the affiliated Wildlife Research Institute, said the bear, which he named Hope, has not been seen since September 14, but was thought to be visiting a hunter’s bait station prior to the disappearance. The bear, which was still traveling with its mother, named Lily, and a young-of-the-year sibling, dubbed Faith, was not wearing a radio collar.
Bear hunting and bear baiting is legal in Minnesota and taking a bear with a radio collar is legal, though discouraged, unless the bear is accompanied by a researcher who has identified the bear to the hunter as a research animal.
Rogers speculated on the Wildlife Research Institute web site, HERE, that the missing bear may have visited the bait site without its radio-collared mother and may have been shot. Rogers says he had been in communication with the hunter who maintains the bait site and is confident the hunter would not shoot a collared bear.
Rogers is asking the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to release information on whether a hunter in the area has registered a bear matching the description of the missing yearling.
The research bear named Lily has a Facebook page, HERE, with more than 132,000 followers.