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Hope, Ely's Internet-famous bear, missing in northern Minnesota

Hope -- the Ely-area bear born in front of a huge Internet audience in 2010 -- is missing. A biologist for the North American Bear Center is fearing the worst. He tells the Duluth News-Tribune that Hope may have been shot and killed by a hunter. Hope has been missing since Wednesday
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Hope -- the Ely-area bear born in front of a huge Internet audience in 2010 -- is missing. A biologist for the North American Bear Center is fearing the worst. He tells the Duluth News-Tribune that Hope may have been shot and killed by a hunter. Hope has been missing since Wednesday

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Hunter confirms Hope the bear is dead

The hunter who killed the one-year-old black bear e-mailed biologists at the North American Bear Center this morning to notify them of her death. The hunter says he didn't know it was the famed bear and would have never deliberately shot Hope.

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Biologist Lynn Rogers says the hunter posted messages on his Facebook page about how to make 'Hope' jerky and ways to cook bear meat in a crockpot.

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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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Researchers at the North American Bear Center in Ely say Jewel and her two new cubs are getting more active. A live webcam continues to monitor the den where the cubs were born.

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Despite the death of Hope the research bear, new numbers from the Department of Natural Resources show only about 1,800 bears have been registered.

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Lynn Rogers says he was looking forward to documenting the evolution of Hope’s family as the 2-year-old bear matured. He says scientists had never gotten so close to a mixed-age bear family.

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