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DNR officers shoot research bear near Ely

Wildlife officials shot and killed a collared yearling black bear Thursday after it went into an Ely-area garage. There were children in the area, according to reports. The bear had been collared in July by Lynn Rogers of the Wildlife Research Institute in Ely, but it wasn’t one of the well-known bears tracked by Rogers and other researchers or followed by the public on Internet webcams.
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Conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Thursday responded to a call from Eagles Nest Township residents in the Ely area, whose children were in the garage when a bear entered it, according to the DNR, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

The children were safely moved to a cabin, media reports say. But the DNR officials killed the animal.

It's not clear exactly how threatening the bear was. It was not scared off easily, even with an air horn, media reported. It was a clear public safety issue, a DNR spokesman told the Pioneer Press.

But independent bear researcher Lynn Rogers, whose associate put the collar on the bear a month ago, called the shooting unnecessary and said it reflects an unreasonable fear of bears, the Pioneer Press reports.

"Fear is in the eye of the beholder,'' Rogers said. "When they say they were held prisoner in the house by the bear, they were really held prisoner by their own fear.''

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