Collared bear dies in northern MN

5:27 PM, Sep 30, 2013   |    comments
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  • Image courtesy Wildlife Research Institute
  • Image courtesy Wildlife Research Institute
  • Image courtesy Wildlife Research Institute

ELY, Minn. - One of the longest tracked bears by the North American Bear Center in Ely has died.

A hunter legally harvested the bear, known widely as June, on Friday. June's radio collar was turned into a DNR office in Tower, according to DNR spokesperson Chris Niskanen.

June's death comes weeks after another collared bear, Dot, died in similar circumstances.

Researcher Lynn Rogers, who is in the midst of a high profile dispute with the DNR, says he believes his collared bears are being targeted. Niskanen said Rogers' claims are not true and there is no evidence to support it.

Rogers says the loss of June is a big blow to his research.

"She is the bear that gives us the kind of video we just cannot get with other bears," Rogers told KARE 11's Boua Xiong. "She so accustomed to us that we can have a camera right in her face while she's working, foraging in the woods. If the camera is in her way she just noses it away and keeps working."

Two other research bears have been shot this month including one animal killed Sept. 13 and another injured on Sept. 5. Minnesota's bear hunting season runs through Oct. 13.

The DNR has advised hunters not to shoot collared bears, but it is not illegal.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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