Today, Sept. 29, 2013 Biologists Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield of the Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center reported a sad conclusion. June, a collared adult black bear, is presumed killed, and there is no word on the whereabouts of her cubs, Ember and Cole.
The collar was returned to the DNR, but specific details about her death were not known or were not released by the DNR at this time. The DNR and the Ely Minnesota bear research team have had an adversarial relationship, with the Institute suing to keep their permitted research going.
Lynn Rogers, Minnesota’s controversial bear researcher, has been permitted by the DNR to continue study 10 collared bears. Controversies arose in response to Rogers hand-feeding bears. Long-term bear studies are generally lauded by scientists because much of bear research done by graduate students takes place within short-term academic constraints.
According to the Wildlife Institute Research centers website “The research has produced over a hundred scientific publications—more than any other bear study.”
June’s death follows the fatal shooting of another bear, Dot, and a nonlethal shooting of the black bear named Aster. Hunters fired these shots although collared bears are supposed to be off-limit targets. The bears wear colorful ribbons around their necks in an attempt to identify the collared bears to hunters. Eight collared bears remain in the study.