Hunter shoots, kills research bear near Ely

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A research bear has been shot and killed by a hunter, according to the Duluth News Tribune. The paper reports that Dot, a 13-year-old research bear, was shot near Ely. The newspaper cites a blog post on the North American Bear Center and associated Wildlife Research Institute.

Dot was wearing a radio collar with colorful ribbons when she was shot, bear researchers Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield reported in their daily update.

The website reads, "The Research Associates who spent hundreds of hours following her life the last 12 years are feeling deep grief this evening. Dot was radio-tracked longer than any other bear in the study, beginning with her life in the den with her radio-collared mother Blackheart. Dot had a great, gentle personality and was a favorite of many who got to see her in the course of her 13 years.”

Researchers say a radio-collared bear named Aster was shot and wounded on Sept. 5. Rogers told the newspaper that Aster will recover from what he termed a “floppy front leg.” At least nine of Rogers’ radio-collared bears have been killed by hunters over the years.

Minnesota's bear season opened Sept. 1. It is legal in Minnesota to shoot a radio-collared bear, though in recent years the Department of Natural Resources has urged hunters to refrain from doing so.

Earlier this year, the DNR revoked Rogers’ permits, ordering him to stop placing radio collars on bears and to stop putting cameras in bear dens. A compromise allowed researchers to continue to have the collars on up to 10 bears.

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