The Legal Bounty Put On Radio-Collared Bears

By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

ELY, Minn. (WCCO) — A late-April snowfall creates a spring wonderland near Ely, Minn. and in the quiet, white wilderness comes the sound of a steady signal.

With tracking equipment in hand, Dr. Lynn Rogers is doing what he’s done a thousand times before: looking for black bears. It’s not long before he comes across a familiar face.

Lily the black bear has found shelter from the snow under a spruce tree where she nurses her cub Faith, something that’s rarely seen.

“We lucked out today,” said Rogers.

Nearby, doing what yearlings do, is Lily’s other daughter, Hope.

Her live birth last year on Rogers’ den cam made Hope a worldwide sensation.

“In Minnesota, there’s over 20,000 bears we can hunt. There are a dozen that are a window for the world,” said Rogers.

Lily, Faith and Hope are a big part of that window.

They are not Rogers’ bears, but they are his research. Like a modern day Jane Goodall, radio collars allow him to track and observe in natural habitat. They are the reason for the North American Bear Center.

“I just kind of fell into it and then fell in love with it,” said Rogers.

When he began his research 44 years ago, Rogers always knew he wanted to open a place where people could learn. The center had more than 30,000 visitors last year. But as educational as it has become there is another purpose: a mission to save the bears he loves.

“Minnesota bears belong to everyone. Why are they being managed for a dozen hunters that might see them instead of the thousands, actually about a quarter million people around the world, that want to learn from these bears? They need to be protected,” said Rogers.

So far the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources won’t protect the radio-collared bears. That’s despite a week-long petition that gathered more than 28,000 signatures from around the world. The signatures came from as far away South Africa, France and England.

But some of the most important came from Andover, Minn.

Dana Coleman is a first grade teacher at Andover Elementary. Her classroom is one of more than 500 in the world that follows Rogers’ research online.

“A 6-year-old doesn’t have the life experiences that a 12th-grader has. So they need that visual aspect of it and it’s invaluable,” said Coleman.

Every day, Coleman’s first graders learn about what’s going on with Lily, Faith and the others. The information they gather turns into lessons about math, time and even life experiences.

A few weeks ago, Lily’s other cub Jason died and it hit this classroom pretty hard.

“When he did pass, I read it to them and we cried together,” said Coleman.

“I felt really bad, like we wanted to cry but I couldn’t cry because my eyes weren’t watery,” said first-grader David Gohman.

These lessons are the reason Coleman has written dozens of letters to lawmakers and the DNR, asking them to protect Rogers’ research.

“The bears are really special to us and they should be special to them too,” said first-grader Abby Lueck.

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said when researchers apply for permits it’s with the understanding that the bears won’t be protected.

“This is the same way we have been operating with Dr. Rogers since 1992,” said Landwehr.

The DNR has 40 of their own research bears and doesn’t protect them either because they feel hunting is a part of research.

“We’ve worked voluntarily with hunters and we will send a letter to hunters asking them to avoid shoot collared bears and Dr. Rogers has called that an effective approach,” Landwehr said.

But not all hunters comply. Last fall, someone shot Sarah, one of Rogers’ research bears, despite the bright pink ribbons on her collar.

In certain circles, these animals now carry a bull’s eye. One hunter created a Facebook page called “Lily, A bear with a bounty” and it talks about using GPS and a helicopter to try and find Lily.

Separate from that, another hunter created a petition simply asking that the bears remain unprotected. So far it has about 100 signatures compared to Rogers’ more than 28,000.

But the main point is clear for a number of Minnesota black bear hunters like Bob Ford, who signed the petition. Personally, he said, he wouldn’t shoot a collared bear but at the same time doesn’t feel they should be protected.

“Putting the collar on a wild animal does not change it. It still is a wild animal and that does not give them the right to claim that as their own,” said Ford. “If it became illegal to shoot them, they might start putting radio collars on all bears. Where will it stop? I wouldn’t shoot one myself, but I don’t think more restrictions should be put on hunters.”

Rogers believes there is more to be learned from a live bear than one that becomes a trophy. For him, a future with Lily, Faith and Hope is more valuable than a future without them.

“When I see these bears, I feel thankful to them for allowing me into their lives to this extent and I just feel privileged that after decades of studying bears in other ways and learning very little, that finally I can get the answers to the many questions that have built up over my lifetime,” said Rogers.

Rogers said he will be bringing the stack of signatures from the petition to the DNR and lawmakers this spring in hopes of changing their decision. He wants to make it clear that he supports black bear hunting, he simply wants an exception made for the bears he is researching.

The DNR said they already have their own research bears and they are leaving those unprotected as well.

More from John Lauritsen
  • BWAB

    Sure would have been nice if they asked me if the bear with a bounty page is real or not.

    The poor people who had their names on the site where shown and are now receiving threats gg cco’

    • Hunter1
      • eastside_evil

        Dana, congratulations on being Teacher of the Week!! Way to go!

      • Don- Minn- Jay

        If you want to know “”WHY”” these collared research bears need protection..please go to…and learn along with us…learning new bear facts every day.
        “”One who claims to know it all, is only fooling himself’..thats why we have these research bears..for more and more facts…GPS has opened the bears way of life to thousands of people throughout the word..lets save them !

    • Megan

      GOOD. “poor people”. HA! Poor bears.

      • Colleredbearsareopengame!

        So if someone threatened your child Over a bear you wouldn’t be upset? So now a bear is more important than a human? Interesting?

        • Patrick Shull

          Until that bear attacks someone then its a vicious animal and people will be yelling for its head on a platter. Screw that this bear some how has the same celebrity status as Lindsay Lohan and both don’t deserve it.

          For the bounty who cares all bears, deer, pheasants, moose, fish, turkeys. amongst many other animals have bounties on their heads once the hunting season opens. So what are these idiots going to do when some one is hunting deer and this bear crosses paths with a hunter and the hunter has no choice but to shoot the bear in self defense and or its bear season and the bear ends up dead because a hunter is hunting by the rules??

          • art w.

            Deer must have an antler of a certain size to be legal, only male pheasants can be shot, fish have size restrictions and limits, turkeys have a limit of one so they all have some restrictions and it is illegal to bait any of these animals whereas bears can be baited and shot like pig in a barrel.

          • eastside_evil

            There are no bears with celebrity status, Patrick. That was your first lie.

            Why must you call people idiots? Is there a fragile ego behind your harsh words?

            Can you tell me how many tagged bears have attacked hunters in the woods that had to be killed in self-defense? I can tell you, since I’m confident you don’t know the answer. It’s ZERO. That was your little white lie number two, wasn’t it, Patrick.

            Now I’m ready for you to call me an idiot and say “who cares” and “screw that bear” for being more popular than you are.

            • eastside_evil

              Thanks! And you’re very welcome! I thank you for your service to the community!

            • Dennis

              “There are no bears with celebrity status, Patrick. That was your first lie.” Calling someone else’s “opinion” a “lie” is your first mistake.

              “Can you tell me how many tagged bears have attacked hunters in the woods that had to be killed in self-defense?” He didn’t say a hunter was ever killed by a tagged bear, so how can a statement that wasn’t made be a lie?

              Lastly for a supposed teacher to call this reasoning brilliant speaks volumes.

            • Ryan B

              No collared bears have killed people in the wild because instead they are so tame that they will come up and lick you like a dog. Its disgusting how tame these animals are at this point. rogers has completely ruined them and even the DNR says they have no chance in the wild beyond their collared research life. Get your facts from someone less biased than Rogers!

              • eastside_evil

                “No collared bears have killed people in the wild because instead they are so tame that they will come up and lick you like a dog.”

                Prove it.

                • trillius

                  These bears DO live in the wild Sir, they are simply observed. They forage for their own food, make/pick their own dens, travel where and when they choose to, etc. They are far from tame, most remain very skittish and simply tolerate him checking their heart-rate and collaring them. Some of the bears do not get collared at all because their individual personality does not allow it and that in and of itself is useful knowledge. Whether or not you agree/disagree with the hunting issue, the bears are not tame.

            • Tammy Beberg

              AMEN…Lets get some of the “Facts” straight before non-existant claims are made!! Patrick needs to do a little more research, but before that, he really should take some lessons in being a RESPECTFUL HUMAN BEING…if possible!! This running of the mouth, not making any real sense is simply a waste of time and space!!!! There are very respectful, educated hunters making comments that you should read!! God help anyone in the woods while you are hunting!! Funny, While reading your post, I was so lost, trying to see what point you were trying to make, I would not have been surprised to hear you defending aliens from outerspace from bears!! Sorry, petty I know…just tired of people that don’t have a clue as to what this is about!! Again, thank you to hunters for their honest opinions!!!

          • Lawrence Witko

            Hunting by the rules? Are you an idiot? You obviously haven’t seen anything about the research being done. Low comprehension level I suppose. I don’t think you should be allowed to carry a weapon.

        • eastside_evil

          Where are you reading that a bear is now officially more important than a human? Please be specific.

        • Don- Minn- Jay

          We need education..alot of people think if a bear jumps in their direction…the bear is gonna hurt them..fact of the matter is…thats called a ”bluff charge’
          only the bear telling you that you are ‘too close’ menance is coming from the bear..Thanks to…we now know what a ‘bluff charge’ is…what a ‘bluster’ is… seen on video too.
          Thanks !

    • Charlotte

      You sure didn’t act like it was a joke and not real and didn’t say a word untill the pressure was on Very immature and a sick thing to do. Now that you are getting the attention you wanted, you complain?

    • Murphy

      Anyone who posts on FB and has an expectation of any kind of privacy is living in a dreamworld. That said, threatening or implying harm to an animal by putting a bounty on it’s head, ONLY because you don’t like the researcher, is kind of stupid, don’t you think?

    • Don- Minn- Jay

      Dr Rogers is being asked to talk at 2 seminars in canada about his bear research..hmmm..why would other experts ask him to speak….if his research is so ”flawed” as a few think in comments her…just goes to show you..that this experts are just learning from this research too..NEW INFORMATIOn !
      With a web cam and GPS..and support and funding..we are only now open to the true lif of bears in the wilderness..please go to learn with the rest of us..even the researchers are learning new info daily!

  • Jackie DuCharme

    Dr Rogers said it on tv. There are over 20,000 black bears here in Mn and that is alot to hunt for.
    Why some person wants to act narcisstic enough to shoot the collared bears is to get attention. Big Bad Hunter. Whats recognition. Sad. Pitiful people.
    And whats the matter with the DNR. Don’t they listen to the public? Who in the world pays for their wages? Tax Payers probably.
    Now the DNR and the legislature can vote for protection of these collared bears.
    I hope this gets all over the news. stations to show what our politicians cannot decide on whats right and wrong. And moral.

  • Don- Minn- Jay

    Thanks for GREAT story..and why these bears need to be protected..

    Sad that a few hunters..can ruin it for all hunters and give good hunters a bad saying they would shoot these research bears..
    (but then again ..they arent ”true’ sporstmen””)
    These bears are worth so much in educational value..

    A few say that a few bears out of over 20,000 cant be protected..says alot about some human nature…selfish…

    • Hunter1

      Most of us hunters would not knowingly shoot a collared research bear but these are also wild animals, protect the collared ones and they are now domesticated pets.

      • Whimzy Linda Ziobro

        How does protecting a collared bear make them a domesticated pet? Bald eagles are protected; do you consider them domesticated pets as well?
        If you were in the midst of a research project, say on farm crops in a specific farm field, and there was a fire that destroyed the whole crop; would your research not be ruined? Would you not have to start all over again? A new crop can be planted and grown quickly, relatively speaking. This is not so when it comes to a research bear. It takes many years of building a trust with each bear before you can put a collar on them. The researchers are not able to just go out, find and uncollared bear, and collar it; it simply doesn’t work that way.
        And before you say it, NO, building trust with a bear does not domesticate them. If you were to walk up to a collared bear today, it would not treat you as it would treat the researchers. It would treat you the same as any wild bear would. That’s because they are a wild bear!
        The research they are doing could help to better educate yours and every child; help them better learn about bears and how to coexist with them. It will also help the hunter to better understand bears as well.
        There are over 20,000 bears in the state of MN. Why are these very few bears so important to the hunters? It’s not like the researchers want ALL bears to be protected. It’s just the opposite. Should hunting of black bears be banned, there would be a huge over population. No one wants to see the bears in our cities walking down the streets. Hunting keeps the population in check. The researchers are simply asking you to spare their collared bears so that their research can go on without any unnecessary interruptions.

      • Joyce

        I cannot understand the phrase “most of us hunters would not KNOWINGLY shoot a collared research bear”. A bear with a collar or a collar with bright ribbons should eliminate the possibility of NOT KNOWINGLY. The DNR’s collared bears do not provide the same research that Dr. Roger’s research provides. And how does a collar domesticate a bear? The DNR is wrong not to allow education and research to contiune by permitting the loss of the bears in Dr. Roger’s reasearch.

      • grmomof2

        Where do you get the idea these bears have become “domesticated pets”?!? That couldn’t be farther from the truth!! After years and years of dedicated research, Dr Rogers and Sue are the only ones who can “walk” with them. You or I?!? No way!! These bears trust them – it’s as simple as that. These wonderful, gorgeous creatures deserve a chance – we all will benefit from continued research!

      • Lawrence Witko

        Yup..another one with a low comprehension level.

  • Don- Minn- Jay

    How about the link to sign for protection…after this story..bear support should really increase

  • Bill

    Any hunter that shoots a collared bear is an a hole. There are 20,000 other ones out there. I agree that the dnr should listen to the puic but they are lazy. Who cares if they’ve done it that way since ’92? That doesn’t mean that it’s right or that it can’t be changed. Just think of all of the good things that Lily has done for bears and the awareness of this research. If more people cared like Dr Rogers the world would be a better place for wild animals and the people that really care about everyone and everything.

    • Bill

      *public* not puic sorry

  • Suzanne P. Claude

    These are not pets, they are simply black bears that live in the wild. They are being studied for their life, not for their death. Dr. Rogers and his team have managed to educate people, and school children, that by finding out about wild animals, you can get a sense of what they bring to this world. School children have to learn about life, even wild life. Dr. Rogers, through cams, and observations, has made the black bear part of the curriculum now. How difficult is it to protect about a dozen bears, when more than 20,000 are available to those who hunt? When you have a love for life, all lives, and you learn about life in the wild with such detail and information that was never available before, it must be protected. A wild animal is not always an aggressive animal. Dr. Rogers is showing us that. And teaching our children that life can be observed. Knowledge is the key to their future. Doesn’t this count? To some I guess it doesn’t. It should.

    • Christine W

      Well said Suzanne!!…The research bears and especially Lily Bear and family are teaching the researchers, and us, so much!!….Please just leave them alone to lve their lives.

  • Maureen Kintyer

    Protect ribbon-collared, research bears. There is so much to learn about these magnificent creatures. Now we have web cams and daily research logs. The internet has opened our eyes onto global viewing. Children can learn about cultures, geography, animals first hand…. not just from books or videotapes. This is a new era of understanding and involvement. With thousands of people across this planet I support Dr. Lynn Rogers research and educational resources. Protect the ribbon-collared research bears. Let this project go forward without harm or compromise. Thank you.

  • Jill Wheaton Lindsey

    If these are wild animals and belong to “everyone” why should even one become the trophy of ONE person who gives no credence to their life or to the invaluable information that can be learned from them. These bears give so much more to millions of people than they will ever give to that ONE so called hunter!

    • Hunter1

      But the fact of the matter is, most of us hunters would not shoot a collared bear, protected or not.

      • eastside_evil

        The fact of the matter is, you don’t know what “most of us hunters” would do.

        And whoever said “Bears are a species often hunted for food” just doesn’t get out much I’m thinking. Who do you see filling their freezer with bear meat? Really. I’ve never heard of anybody going bear hunting for food.

  • L

    The title of this story is deceiving… the people that don’t feel they need to be protected aren’t forming hunting parties just to go out and shoot all his bears and like others have said if they see one with a collar they won’t shoot it. One person did, totally legal mind you, and look what happened….they can’t be “pets” and wild animals…

    • Mary Rogers

      actually, L, there have been other less-ehtical hunters who have publically made the same proclamations as this fb fiasco and anyone else observing from the background can only take a person at face value by the words and presence they put forward for public face.

      • Ryan B

        Its only our 1st amendment right, Freedom of Speech. “Dont tread on ME”

  • Aloha Montgomery

    Why in the world is there such adversity to protecting a small number of clearly identified research bears? Many hunters support the protection of these bears. For some people to intentionally set out to kill them? What does that say except for something ugly about ‘human’ nature? The children in the classroom are learning about the life cycle. No one is claiming that bears aren’t ‘wild’ animals; at the same time, through this research, we learn how to safely co-exist with them and appreciate their place in nature. (On a side note, I believe the statistics show that each year, across the country, many more people are killed in hunting accidents than by black bears.)

  • A. Frankel

    I certainly hope that our MN legislators and the DNR do the right thing and protect this small group of research bears. Learning about their daily lives, even live via a camera in their den giving birth are opportunities derived from years of walking with them, much like Jane Goodall and Diane Fossey.
    The data and information gained is never before gathered in the science world.
    The shooting of even one of these study subjects affects the continuity of following individual bears over their lifetime. PROTECT RADIO COLLARED BEAR, please!

  • Michele Chartier

    Laws are made to be changed,and the time for CHANGE in NOW more than ever..Why isn’t the DNR listening to the People of MN,and around the world! The Research bears are so important to science,education,and the future of Black bears. Protection is a MUST for these few bears that offer the world so much~There are so many mis conceptions,and I see them in comments here,the research bears are NOT pets,and you would know that it you got your facts right first..visit and educate yourself about why these bears deserve protection!

    • Ryan B

      They’re not listening to the people of MN because the majority of the people of MN are ill-educated by biased stations like WCCO. They only show half the story here and give mere tidbits of information from real hunters and conservation officers. The people who are doing the bear hunting and regulating. Instead they bash the people who disagree with protecting research bears and give Lynn Rodgers 4 minutes of talking time.

  • Hunter1

    Good to know, but please dont assume that I was suuming, maybe my child is a student of yours and I have been painted a different view point?

    • Mary Rogers

      Love it Dana – spot on!!!
      Hunter 1 – clearly in the wrong. If you had paid closer attention, Dana Coleman’s class is not only learning about the hard aspects of the circle of life through the bear education efforts, they have now taken up the gauntlet to learn about our legislative processes by championing a bill to make the black bear Minnesota’s state mammal. Exposure to Lily and the research bears has had a positive trickle-down affect for these kids towards becoming politically educated, engaged adults.
      The information sharing and educational value that has stemmed from Dr. Rogers’ research has enabled a more thorough understanding of how to better manage co-existence; maintaining the ecological system so that as human encrouch upon bear territory and vice versa, we can move forward with intelligence rather than fear-based reaction. People fear what they do not understand. Take some time to understand that this planet and everything on it is a gift to us all and is only a borrowed experience while we are here to enjoy it. Understanding bear behavior ultimately enhances the hunting experience by preserving the species in it’s natural environment when we understand the indicators that drive them from that environment. And Hunter1 – by the way, Dr. Rogers firmly believes and partners with ethical hunters – he is NOT anti-hunting.l

  • Karen Anderson

    BWAB: Of course the page is real…like any other Facebook page. Who can believe a person like you when you now claim it’s a rib and might not be “real”? You give ALL hunters a bad name because you are incredibly LAME. You dragged these “poor people” onto your page so it’s also your fault that they are now receiving threats “gg cco’.

    • BWAB

      No one was dragged to the page and no one was forced to join in conversation.

      Also i have a free i-pad for you

      • Karen Anderson

        In order to make a comment in opposition to/about you, people have to “like” your ugly page. That’s how a REAL Facebook page works. You have NO credibility because your “lameness” becomes more evident with every comment you make, whether there or here. Go Away!

  • Adam

    LEAVE The Bears Alone!!!! We Should Learn From the,

  • Don- Minn- Jay

    ***the DNR sets bag limits..on ducks..geese..etc..
    sets slot limits on fish…
    sets ”special” size and amount of fish on’ ”certain lakes”…
    sets special size reglations on Mississippi on smallmouth bass wher i live,,,
    sets seasons on fishing..hunting…trapping..

    but then says they cant get involved in protection for collared black bears..
    wont open up dialogue…..
    hmmmmmmmmmmm something not right here..

    Thank you first graders ! You warm my heart with your joy of learning about black bears..and understand the ”value” of these bears…when a few dont..
    You are our future…and are smarter than your age..and have more wisdom than some adults.

    • Ryan B

      Do tagged ducks, geese, fish or deer have a law that says you cant shoot or kill them? No, so why should bears. Seasons are in place for all the things you listed AND black bears.

      • eastside_evil

        Tagged ducks and geese? That’s your comparison? Do you know why ducks and geese are tagged? You don’t have the slightest clue what you’re talking about, kiddo.

      • Mary Rogers

        Ryan – you have to identify a 3-inch antler on a deer before shooting…you have to identify the gender of the duck before taking a shot….the DNR uses blaze ORANGE collars on their research bears…and other game assosciations use ear tags. Yes…there are markings that are expected to be identified before it is considered “legal” to take the kill!

        • Ryan B

          Geese, ducks and fish are all tagged to provide research when a hunter or fisherman, shoots or catches the bird or fish. They are then to report the number on the tag to the DNR with the sizes weights etc. So yes I do know what it is for. However, with bears apparently death by hunters is not included in the research. Although that is a huge part of their life cycle here in Minnesota.
          You seem to be mistaken because it is not the law that we have to identify a bear as tagged before shooting it. No law exists that says this. Identifying if the bear is collared is much different than decisioning gender or antler sizes. Any size or hender bear is legal game in MN and has been since the beginning of time. Seems to be working if it has worked for all these years am I right?

          • Mary Rogers

            Ryan – it is UNlawful to shoot a collared bear if it is in the presence of a researcher who is accompanying it and identifies it to the hunter as a research animal. What this does is places the researchers in harms way.
            It is excused if a collared bear is taken by mistake as long as the hunter turns in the collar. Proponents for this particular study are asking for the protection of up to 12 bears out of 20,000.
            And actually, last year 2 of the study bears were shot – one by a hunter who stepped forward the right way to indetify the collar – one who anonymously turned in the collar on which they had removed the ribbons. The DNR also lost study bears last year to hunters….so I don’t necessarily agree that it works.
            Respect to you Ryan

            • Ryan B

              If the researcher is out in the woods during hunting season and is within that kind of proximity to the bear where he or she could be shot that should be their fault. It kind of like saying If i am in the presence of your car you cant drive your car because you could hit me. I understand they only want to protect 12 bears but this is just a step in the direction of tagging more bears in the future and eventually Mr. Rogers simply wants to make all the bears “his bears”

              • naturelover

                There is no reason to worry that the WRI would tag “all the bears.” Studying bears is time and labor-intensive, and would not be possible to do with scores of bears. The request to protect the clan of bears in the study would not involve more than about 20 bears. That is not very many out of to 20,000 black bears in the state. To fear that protecting them “is just a step in the direction of tagging more bears in the future” indicates a lack of understanding of the study’s goals and methods. There is a lot of fascinating information at that you should read to allay your fears.

  • Naturelover

    I am appalled that the DNR can ignore so much outcry from the public, which wants the research bears to be protected. Their excuse that “this is how we have done it” is lame, bureaucratic drivel. The public deserves a more intelligent response from the DNR than we have seen so far on this issue. How about some creativity? Potential bear hunters should have to pass a test to prove that they have read “the letter” containing nformation about not shooting the collared research bears, and sign an agreement not to shoot them before they are issued a permit. And the areas where the research bears are known to live should simply be off limits for bear hunting. That would protect the Wildlife Research Institute research bears, and “the letter” and “agreement” would protect the DNR’s own research bears, which they have been otherwise incapable of doing.
    As far as some guys putting a bounty on the research bears, if I were a bear hunter, I’d worry about being in the woods at the same time as these rifle-carrying idiots.

    • Bob

      I do hunt, but I have never hunted bear, but I would like to.

      The problem with having off-limit areas is that many bears travel great distances. The one collared bear that was shot near McGregor had also been in Canada. That is a 200 mile straight line distance. I would not shoot a collared bear, but what is to prevent all the anti-hunters from tagging as many animals as possible in the future. It would open a big can of worms, and I would guess that the DNR knows this.

      I think that the research gained from this project is great, but hunting is part of wildlife population management whether you like it or not.

      • Whimzy Linda Ziobro

        The bears that travel great distances are males; females have their own territories, which they “mark”, to call it their own. Dr. Rogers had one male bear in his research bears so he could learn a little about the male bears as well. The rest of his bears are females that stay in a much smaller radius.
        No one can just go out and tag or collar a bear without the proper permits; and the DNR wouldn’t just issue them to anyone either. They won’t pass this bill in question, I am sure they wouldn’t pass letting anyone tag a bear either. Nor would I want them to either.
        If more people would read a bit about Dr. Rogers Research, I think we would have more understanding on why he wants these bears protected. And by reading, I don’t mean finding quotes he has said in a newspaper, etc, that has been slaughtered to fit their own benefits. What he is doing is good for all bears, as well as bear hunters. He is finding out things that will help the future of all bears. Without his research we could one day see bears on the extinct list.

      • eastside_evil

        Why would you like to? I’m curious.

        I hunt deer, coyote, turkey, pheasant, squirrels and other things, but would never feel the urge to tree a bear and blast it from the ground.

        So which part of the hunt is the part you’d look forward to the most, Bob? Spreading the garbage, or avoiding the dead bear as it falls from the tree?

        • Hunter1

          You sir are truly a moron. This isnt WI, we dont chase them around with dogs and tree them, We hunt them from stands like you probably do dee. Plus I dont actually believe you really hunt…..

          • Hunter1


          • eastside_evil

            Whether you believe it or not is of very little consequence to me. I don’t just hunt. I’m a hunter. It’s not what I do, it’s who I am.

        • Ryan B

          Wow, is that you in there Lynn Rodgers??

      • Mary Rogers

        Bob – greatlly appreciate and respect your view point here. The research also enables us to ensure a healthier population management in the bear’s natural environment – maintaining a healthy ecosystem that supports the species needs. Understanding the life cycles, reproduction, territory, impacts to terriitory and food supply (natural and human-driven) enables us to better manage the habitat as well as co-exist as we encrouch on each other’s territories. As a follower of this research, I respect ethical hunting and only ask that hunters use ethical practices in the case of these now 9 bears out of 20,000. It is not being asked to protect the area – just less than a dozen who don flourescent duct taped ribbons during hunting season.
        Best of luck to you =-)

  • Suzanne P. Claude

    Don, it’s people like you that make us proud to follow black bears and all of Dr. Rogers’ research. The more I read, the more I find out that education is key here. These precious first graders have taught us the word respect. I just hope that the people who speak without facts realize that knowledge is something they need to get. Ms Coleman and her class deserve respect and many thanks for doing what they are doing.
    Some people will not even take the time to read about this research… Maybe one day, they will learn something from these precious kids!

  • Ryan B

    Anyone care to share some of Dr Rodgers “research”? Every references how important it is but what has he really learned? Ive never heard any answer to that. If you watch the video its quite obviously these poor bears have become tamed pets. You can see the people going up right next to the bears. Id pay to see Mr. Rodgers do that by any bear he isnt researching, the result would be much different. If you listen to the DNR officer he clearly states Rodgers agrees that the current laws are effective. Main point is these are still wild animals and shouldn’t get special rights over others. Death by hunting is a natural part of a bears life and has been since the beginning of time.

    • Mary Rogers educate yourself

      • Jill Wheaton Lindsey

        Great idea Mary but I don’t think the people that support this FB Bounty page have a brain. They could not possibly “GET IT”. Too Stupid!!

    • Richard in Minneapolis

      “Death by hunting is a natural part of a bears life and has been since the beginning of time.” ??

      And just what hunted adult bears before humans came along about two million years ago? And even if there was such animal it had to go head to head with the bear, which gave the bear a sporting chance.

      Maybe that’s the solution. Allow hunting of all bears, but only by means of hand to hand, (excuse me, hand to paw) combat.

      • Ryan B

        Excuse me, since the first people to walk this earth. Which has still been a loooonnnngggg time.. These people made bows and spears to hunt for bears. Not hand to hand combat. I dont think anyone is that dumb, except maybe yourself. Basically your saying that all hunting of bears should be outlawed then? Doesnt get much more radical than that.

    • Charlotte

      Ryan B If YOU did YOUR research you’d know the answer to your question about what Dr. Rogers has learned and taught and know that these bears are not tame If they are tame as you claim let’s see if you can walk up to any of his research bears. No you could not. Just what is the problem with protecting a dozon bears that a man has spent his entire life researching Instead of asking others to share his research, do it yourself , You might learn something and not talk like you know what you are talking about. People that have opinions without knowledge of the subject don’t have the desire to learn about anything which is sad and stay in their own little bubble. Maybe when you mature you will learn to think

      • Ryan B

        Guarantee you I could walk up to one of them, The cameraman did it so why would I not be able to?? Did you watch the same video I did?

        • Diane Harlow

          Ryan B said “Guarantee you I could walk up to one of them.” That is something I would love to see! Obviously, the cameraman was not by himself. If you noticed, Dr. Rogers had to track Lily. I’m not sure why you feel the need to post so much about this story. Even LABWAB isn’t posting much. Hope he’s happy one of his supporters is fighting his battles. Seriously, as you’ve said, you’re young and certainly entitled to your opinion, but please keep an open mind to what Dr. Rogers goal is…education.

    • Don- Minn- Jay
      you will have alot of reading to catch up on :)

      • Ryan B

        And I know what a bear is and how they work but thanks for trying to be captain obvious. In case you didn’t know the sky is blue as well.

    • Lisa

      I have learned a lot from these bears…..I have learned that Bears don’t sleep during hibernation…That they have a family separation after about a year and a half,,,with the exception of Lily and Hope…I’ve learned that they have a bad rep for being dangerous and human eating beast! I’ve learned that they are very loving and gentle mammals to each other…I’ve learned that they are teaching a lot of the things that we never knew about them and so much more…The research bears are very important to a lot of us, and if destroyed…that would be years of research from this one bear gone….Please….learn and educate yourself on these beautiful creatures…It’s very interesting! Protect our Collared Bears, Please! Thanks…..

    • Don- Minn- Jay

      All you have to do is go to to learn what is being learned..
      1 )travel of bears..with GPS…we never knew their movements every 15 minutes.
      2) what he bears eat..and watching them in pictures and videos doing so.
      Alot of new info.
      3) wathcing family break-up….the ins and outs of it…never before were we able to personally watch this so many bears.
      4) Den cam..watching alive birth..(some peopl still thoink bears just hibernate and sleep tru it…and wake up in spring to cubs )
      5) play in the den..nursing in the den of wild bears
      Dr Rogers says “CURRENT Laws are effective..if hunters get the info..and hunters follow the asking of not shooting of research bears…but this wasnt done last year and research bears were lost.
      NOT WILD go out in the wild and try and sit down by them..GOOD LUCK! Sometimes it takes hours to get close to them..and only after building trust with the researchers do….saying they are ”tame””, shows you arent follwing/reding the updates…bear info.

  • Ryan B

    Lynn Rodgers and the camera man are practically touching the bears in a lot of the footage throughout the clip. This shows these animals sadly are not even wild anymore. They have become so tame that research must be flawed and shouldn’t be used to reference wild specimens. I would hope you would be teaching your class this as well. Shows how one teacher can convince young minds and sway them to their beliefs. I feel sorry for all the kids in this class who receive biased information. I would hope they’d never have a run in one day with a REAL WILD bear.

    • eastside_evil

      “Shows how one teacher can convince young minds and sway them to their beliefs. I feel sorry for all the kids in this class who receive biased information.”

      There is no call for these statements against the teacher, Ryan. What biased information?

      Were you having a bad day and feeling snarky or were you up in the middle of the night drinking and reading news story comments?

      • eastside_evil

        I have 5 children in school. One in HS, two in middle school, and two in elementary school.

        This is exactly the type of learning I want my kids to have, and the type of curriculum to which I want my children exposed.

        What a fantastic learning experience this is. I commend your efforts with our children, Miss or Mrs. Coleman!

      • Ryan B

        Considering I’m 19 years old drinking would be illegal and I do not partake in those activities. And I was actually being quite serious because it is sad that our future is being taught things like this as opposed to things that may actually be important down the road and help them succeed in life. Asking what I have been doing is a violation of my privacy and I dont appreciate that. It is not relevant to the story whatsoever.

        • Don- Minn- Jay

          There might be future researchers in these school classrooms..

          What a GREAT thought!
          Kids really learnig the truth about black bears and not the falsehoods seen on tv.

        • eastside_evil

          “Considering I’m 19 years old”

          Your brain is not fully formed yet. Your opinions are therefore less valuable to the discussion. No offense.

      • Don- Minn- Jay

        We all back you Dana !
        What a class act you are !
        Wish we had teachers like you when i was a would have been more enjoyable and we would have learned the truth about black bears.

        Gotta love those black misunderstood and so meek and smart and given such a bad rap by a few people.

        Thank goodness i found and the den cam and updates and
        Lily the black bear face book site..

        It really changed my life for the better ..

    • Don- Minn- Jay

      Ive had contact with ”your so called wild bear”
      in Ely, Mn on Knife Lake…twice..
      and even here in Monticello
      The bears were more scared of me..than I was of them..

      Most black bears are non agressive..unless you threaten them… are agressive to them….unexpetedly drop in on them…or food sources are really limited and they need food…

      i would take a”black bear in the woods” any day ….than the threats and actions of some humans…WOULD BE ALOT SAFER !

    • Ryan B

      It is different than teaching out of a textbook because the textbooks arent biased! They show a moderate point of view that can be looked at from either side. This is why are school systems are so f***ed up, people like you. BTW shouldn’t you be “teaching” your kids at 10:56 AM on a Tuesday? No instead your using it as your free time and us taxpayers are paying you to sit on a site like

    • Don- Minn- Jay

      Dr Rogers is invited to 2 bear seminars in Canada..
      if his research is so ”flawed” you keep stating.. why would these animal experts invite him..and want to learn of his research ?

  • jason

    Nice biased one sided story, wcco. Nothing new there. Typical media for you.

    Interesting to see people are so blind to see his research is biased and unethical.

    Why should the MN DNR listen to people from other states and countries? They don’t pay taxes here.

    Hopefully no person gets hurt by one of these “tame” bears.

    • Mary Rogers

      Jason – actually the people who follow this research have boosted the local economy – especially in Ely, MN through donations for Ely schools, Ely tourism and business – almost 34,000 people attending the NABC picnic last year alone due to the coverage….68 out of 70 Ely business, Ely Chamber of Commerce and city councils ALL support protection of these bears for their local economy.
      People from all over the world have contributed hundereds of thousands of dollars towards progress because of this effort – do your research before spouting half truths

    • protection

      The DNR should listen to other states and countries as DR Rogers work is putting ELy ,Minnesota on the map and is bringing tourism to the area at a time when the world is in a recession !
      Dr Rogers work is being taught in schools all over the world !

      • Ryan B

        Unfortunately! Since all the research is severely flawed.. That is still not a good answer for why the law in MN should be changed about protecting collared bears. Half of these people in Africa have probably never even seen a black bear.

        • eastside_evil

          Funny that the researchers don’t think the research is “severely flawed.”

          But I’m sure that you, Ryan B, are a PhD scientist with degrees in Biology, Botany, Anthropology, and a host of other disciplines that inherently qualify you to make such a determination and then share it with us with such unabashed confidence.

  • protection

    An excellent news item.
    Why is the DNR ignoring the public outcry for protection of these study bears ?
    Dr Rogers work means so much to the world and especially to the hundreds of schools teaching about the black bear.
    What will a letter achieve when there are people out there wanting to harm these wonderful animals ?
    Surely even just making this a no go area would help get these bears protected and hunters would still have lots of other areas to hunt ?
    The DNR has to listen ,it cant bury its head in the sand any longer ,this is worldwide ,Protection is needed !

  • Jane Facey


  • Jane Facey

    Sorry, post above went too early. I am in the UK and have been following Lily and her cubs on Facebook since a three part documentary about them aired on the BBC over Christmas. I have learnt a lot about black bears and a lot about Minnesota – what a beatiful part of the world you live in. I have made a financial contribution to the work of the NABC and hope, together with three like minded friends, to visit Ely.
    I find it simply astonishing that someone thinks it clever and acceptable to create a facebook page putting a bounty on Lily’s head – shame on them.
    There will be a huge, international outcry if this were to happen which will not reflect well on Minnesota, and I hope that sanity prevails – please keep pressing for protection for the radio collared bears.



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