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ST. PAUL, Minn. - An administrative law judge heard testimony that Ely bear researcher Lynn Rogers gave tips to paying participants in his "bear course" on feeding bears from their mouths.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports Lou Cornicelli, who oversees research permitting for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, read the instructions at a hearing Friday. They were provided by a former course participant.

At issue in the proceedings is a dispute between Rogers and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources over Rogers' state permit to affix bears with radio collars.

Rogers declined to comment, saying he expects to testify, perhaps next week.

Rogers maintains that hand-feeding bears is essential to build trust with them. But the DNR maintains that trust also makes them see people as a source of food.

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