Jane Goodall backs Ely bear researcher in dispute with DNR


Famed African chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall sent a letter to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton last week in support of Lynn Rogers, the black bear researcher who's been battling with the state over his research methods.

"I believe it would be a scientific tragedy if this research, conducted by a scientist who truly cares about his subjects, is brought to an untimely close," Goodall said in the letter obtained by the Duluth News Tribune.

In June, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources informed Rogers that it would not renew his research permit because his methods, such as hand-feeding bears, have caused the animals to lose their fear of humans and become a public safety threat.

Rogers has argued that his work is basic research on bear behavior and serves to educate thousands of people about black bears, the newspaper reported.

Rogers took the case to court and sought a restraining order against the DNR's decision.

In a temporary agreement, Rogers is allowed to keep radio collars on up to 10 bears, but live web cameras must stay turned off and hand-feeding is only allowed to maintain collars.

In Goodall's letter to Dayton, she compares Rogers' research to her famous work with chimpanzees.

"Like chimpanzees, bears are long-lived individuals, each with his and her own personality. Long-term research in which individuals are known allows one to ask questions that are not possible in short term or ecological studies," Goodall wrote.

The Duluth News Tribune says the agreement will hold until Rogers' case challenging the DNR comes before a state administrative law judge, likely later this year or early 2014.

Next Up

Eric Kendricks

Coller: Do the Vikings have a tough schedule?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Screen Shot 2020-01-02 at 7.54.07 AM

Grand jury indicts 2 with aiding and abetting murder of Minneapolis Realtor

Four people have now been indicted by a grand jury in connection to the 2019 killing of Monique Baugh.

Nelson Cruz

White Sox sweep Twins for first time since 2016

The Twins' offense disappeared in a 4-2 loss on Thursday.

Mike Hughes

Report: Vikings trade Mike Hughes to Kansas City

The Vikings received a 2022 sixth-rounder in exchange for the former first-round pick.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Backup from fatal crash in Stearns County leads to another bad crash

The crash backed up traffic, which led to another crash in which two people were injured.

Gluten free pizza

For The Week: Monster cookies, and a search for the best gluten-free pizza in MN

BMTN food writer Lindsay Guentzel's weekly column aims to make life in the kitchen easier.

Flickr - SIMULIIDAE black fly gnat - D. Sikes

South Twin Cities metro besieged by aggressive gnats

Metropolitan Mosquito Control District has received more than 100 calls in recent days.

Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater criticizes Panthers' practice habits

The former Vikings quarterback was not a fan of his time in Carolina.

Associate wearing PPE 2

Amazon will give $100 to new hires who are fully vaccinated against COVID

The company is hoping to hire 1,300 people in Minnesota.


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.