Hope The Bear Missing, Feared Shot By Hunter

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A popular Minnesota Bear being tracked by the Wildlife Research Institute in Ely is missing.

The institute wrote about it in a blog post on its web site, called “Losing Hope.” Hope is a cub of “Lily the Bear,” who was popularly featured on a live web cam and had thousands of followers.

They are still working with the Minnesota DNR, but fear Hope may have been shot by a hunter. A bait site had been spotted earlier in the week before Hope went missing.

It is not illegal to kill radio-collared bears, but the Institute asks hunters not to do so because of the information they can gather from these bears.

Hope was actually not a collared bear as each time researchers put one on her, she found a way to take it off. But she is one of their research bears, and without the collar it makes it tough for hunters to identify research bears.

  • Chris

    The problem is the bear was a year old and couldnt be collared despite several attempts by the research team. Nevertheless, baiting an animal in an area where radio collared bears frequent is absurd.

    • Meg

      Who shot Hope?
      But if his / her name were revealed he/she might feel hunted.

    • Cathy

      The idiot hunter that shot this special YOUNG bear shoud be MAN ENOUGH to come forward and receive whatever public punishment he desierves. BAITING IS NOT HUNTING, MY ASSUMPTION IS HE DID THIS JUST FOR FUN! COME ON MAN – – MAN IT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Josh

        Punishment for what shooting a bear during hunting season. You people need to grow up and understand thats part of life. You don’t say this about the cow meat you buy from the store. Its the samething.

  • pat mckibbage

    The bear called Hope was not wearing a radio collar/bright ribbons during this periode of time…

    • Jackie Du Charme

      Thats true she was not. But didn’t the hunter see all three bears prior to this setting up bait?
      For one thing , any Bear hunter that sets up bait is one of the laziest hunters on the planet. They just want to waddle back to their chairs and wait.
      Try setting up bait in Alaska for a bear. ha ha ha

      • Josh

        Just so you know. Hope would have been by herself. Her mother kicked her away once she had that other cub.

  • Don

    Pat, are you the one that shot her?

  • Mary Bach Floren

    She was and is a very special bear!! Losing her has millions upset. Patience is a verture, hunters need to have that. There are good hunters who respect the research then there are the ones who give hunting a bad name. If she was shot “HOPE” it was painless.

    • Smokey

      By any chance was Amy Senser driving in the area? That could explain it.

    • I Hate Ignorance

      You’re gonna blame a hunter who shot a bear w/out a collar? Wow.

      • Mary Bach Floren

        I thought you said I hate ingnorance.. Well?

    • cathy


  • chris

    i dont think Pat shot her

    • I know Pat shot her

      Yes she did,

      • Karen

        Stop the rumors. If you know Pat, you know HE didn’t shoot her!

  • Jen Flederbach

    I’m not completely against hunting, especially when a true “hunt” is involved, but when someone walks up to an animal and shoots it while it’s there eating the food that a person dumped there, that is NOT hunting.

    • chris

      I feel really bad for the little children that have been following the story of HOPE in their classrooms. And for their teachers too. And for the parents of these children. The story of these research bears was broadcast worldwide. , within classrooms and in the media. I can understand an aggressive bear and personal safety issues, but not tossing food in an area and shooting an animal when it eats.

    • Sad

      I agree! I think food plots and bait stations should be illegal. Its not a fair game, its just a way to get the kill quicker because the hunter has gotten lazy and impatient. Hunting is not about necessity anymore, it’s about bragging rights. Hope had to much publicity and was targeted for it> Again, bragging rights. I think whoever shot Hope, if Hope was shot, is a very shameful hunter.

      • Josh

        What would you know about hunting. Your one of those people who sit at home and cry over some animal. Where do you think your food come from in the store. Its animal. And As for bait stations and food plots. Yes it helps bring them in. But it also allows for a cleaner kill so the animal does not run off and die and not be found. You all need to grow up and get a real life.

    • Barbara

      I had agreed with banning bait hunting till I read Dr Lynn Rogers stance on it. He is the reason it is how hunters hunt in MN. Prior to that change hunters were wounding the bears, but were unable to find the injured bear. Dr Rogers does not want hunters to injury lots of bears before getting the kill. So he recommended & supports bait hunting.

      • Dr. Kevorkian

        I agree. Bait hunting is kind of like euthanasia. It’s very humane.

        • Patima

          I agree bait hunting should be banned…how sad

  • Christine W

    Your right she is a very special bear….my heart is broken….:(

  • Karen

    If Hope was shot, we can’t blame the hunter. If the hunter mentioned in the update did shoot her, I’m sure he feels bad. He obviously didn’t shoot any of the other research bears that went to the bait station because he could tell they were research bears. Unfortunately if Hope went to the bait area without Lily, he wouldn’t have known she was with the research bears. From the update it sounds like he is a hunter who respects the research and its just unfortunate that Hope may have been away from Lily and not been recognized. I don’t fault the hunter. I am sad thinking Hope may have been taken but I’m very grateful for all the knowledge we have gained from her in the past year and a half. We have truly been blessed to be able to witness all that we have. I plan to continue following the research bears and thank all the hunters for their cooperation in protecting collared bears.

    • Barbara

      Karen, I agree with you. It is very important the hunters not be blamed it if fact Hope was shot. I will be very sad, but she did not have a collar on :(

      • Sad

        A collar doesn’t even mean the bear is “technically” off limits, hunters can still shoot them. The location where Hope was living was definately advertised and any hunter in that area knew what bears were in that particular area, so it becomes more of a trophy hunt to kill a popular bear. The DNR and researchers had plenty of communication out to please not shoot these bears, but as noted in the article, a bait feeder was put in that exact location, so someone obviously has no respect and in my opinion acted very selfishly.

    • Jen Flederbach

      He SHOULD feel BAD.

  • Jill

    If she has truly been shot I hope that the hunter will tell the researchers the truth quickly (and that the DNR will get back to them with info regarding whether or not any young females were registered in the area.) If this is what happened it is truly a senseless tragedy, but to not admit what happened is cruel. We’re all hoping she is still out there somewhere, so please give the researchers the info they need. They deserve closure if this is in fact her fate. When I think of all the bear knowledge they had yet to learn from this one bear… and the thought that she might’ve been killed just because she happened to be foraging in the woods, just out of sight of her mom and little sister… So many people are out there praying for this bear. Please do the right thing, whoever you are….

  • Kristy Sweeten

    Doc and Sue tried many times this summer to get a collar on Hope but for some reason she refused to keep it on. So I can’t be really mad at the hunter if he/she killed Hope but please just tell the truth and let Doc and Sue know about it so we just know the truth about what happen to Hope.

  • Citizen

    Bait stations and baiting bears should be illegal. That is not sport hunting, that is simply killing for the sake of killing; it hardly gives the hungry bear a chance.

    • Kristy Sweeten
      • Citizen

        @Kristy. I read the article. I greatly dislike the human response to hunting animals being characterized as “management” of a wild species. For some reason most species did just fine without humans playing g o d by trying to “manage” their numbers. As far as I’m concerned, all hunting could be eliminated and I would not miss it!

    • Don

      Can I ask why the only one that seems to have rights is the hunter??!! And not the researchers, the people that support the animals/researchers and the animals themselves? Is it because their lobby is just too big??!!??

      • ohoh

        the people who support the animals/eresearchers are the taxpayers of MN

  • hunthunthunt

    Karen does not blame the hunter. He had a choice. Just call a spade a spade.

    Some day soon the hunters will be hunted.

    Bears were not put on the earth to be violated by humans. Humans no longer
    need bear meat and bear fur. Try consuming some of the food mountains that
    humans are creating. Try wearing the synthetic materials that are being thrown
    away or destroyed as they are not wanted/surplus to requirements.

    • Dale Gribble

      Come and get me! I’m guessing I’m better armed than you pinkos!

      • Dr. Kevorkian


  • fred

    pity the hunter who did this. his trouble has just begun

    • Don

      Please do not threaten, it does no good and you will never know who shot her.

    • Karen

      If she was shot, the hunter didn’t do anything wrong.

      • Don

        IF the hunter did not know who she was….

      • Jill

        Maybe you should say “the hunter didn’t do anything illegal.” Hunting is legal. That doesn’t make it right.

        • so sad

          same as abortion Jill legal, but not right.



    • Jill

      Agree! Humans are the most despicable creatures on the planet.

  • cowardly


  • Mad

    I think baiting should be illegal for hunting. It isn’t fair to the bears, they’re naturally going to go after an easy food source. I personally don’t like hunting and can’t understand how anyone can actually ENJOY it, but when people hunt ONLY to get a trophy it really makes me angry. It isn’t hunting when you bait something, its laziness and it’s sick.

    • sherry r.

      I agree!!! wow.. what a sport, baiting an area and waiting til a poor bear comes into view.. where is the sport in that??? I bet he didn’t even get his shoes dirty… this makes me so mad!!!!! I thought hunting was tracking an animal in the woods, not baiting poor bears looking for a food source when food is scarce this time of year.. I agree LAZY and sick…



  • josie

    so DON…what’s your link? who shot her?

  • sherry r.

    wow.. feel like a REAL hunter .. have to bait an area to get the poor bears to come into view.. why don’t you go out in the woods.. oh are you scared YOU might get shot.. suck it up HUNTER.. this bear was a research bear.. shame on YOU!!! KARMA >>> KARMA.. one day!!! just wait!!!

    • chris

      well said sherry

  • diana

    it may not be illegal to bait and kill, but it is surely morally and ethically wrong [regardless of the reasoning noted @bear.org]. What a ripple effect this bear kill will have. The hunter knew the area was ‘sensitive’ for research bears having seen the colored ribbons on a couple of radio collared bears already . . .why take the chance of hunting there? A cheap 60 second thrill . . . it doesn’t take much to destroy a beautiful creature. And for what? What is that hunter going to do with the bear now?

  • chris

    How can you shoot an animal at a bait station and watch it die? Whats the motivation in that? That hunter knew it was entering a region frequented by research bears and you cant tell me that they were unaware of the HOPE story. C’mon…somebody out there knows something!!!!

  • veryangryperson

    When will it be in-season to hunt hunters?

    • sherry r.

      YAY!!! now can we bait them with beer????

      • veryangryperson

        Love that Idea, sherry r.

  • Zing

    Bear hunting is not hunting. It’s putting food out for weeks then one day gunning down the animal that is used to coming to get it. Bear meat is not even that good. Bears are also pretty smart. The only reason to do it is so you feel cool because you killed a bear and you get a rug or something. If you are a bear hunter and you want to feel like you earned it then go out to Montana and hike alone in the mountains with a pistol and a knife. If you walk out of there with a big griz then you can feel cool. Leave the little black bears alone you idi0ts.

    • sherry r.

      well said ZING! well said!!!

  • http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2011/09/24/popular-bear-in-ely-missing-feared-shot-by-hunter/ Popular Bear In Ely Missing, Feared Shot By Hunter « CBS Minnesota

    […] [WCCO] Share this No comments // […]

  • TL the alligator

    shot by A HUNTER?….LOL…..i dont think so…….these idiots who go into the woods and shoot unsuspecting bears that are baited are NOT HUNTERS any more than the people who sit in a tree and shoot deer are…..THAT IS NOT HUNTING…..that is merely killing an animal for no legit reason so call it what it is. These people who do this just want to shoot their gun and kill something, anything really. They are of low moral character, have “little man” complex, very little if any consciounce, and have a serious emotional disconnect…..there is NOTHING admirable about this kind of activity…..in life they too will get their just paybacks……maybe afterlife as well.

    • veryangryperson

      Amen, TL.

    • Jackie Du Charme

      I agree. They are not real hunters. Just little boys playing big guy. Kind of an idiot hunting if you ask me.

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