Bear Expert Says Nuisance Bear Behavior is Misinterpreted

By KBJR News 1

August 4, 2012 Updated Aug 4, 2012 at 11:46 PM CDT

ELY, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- After learning about the death of one of its research bear named Noliana Friday, Biologists at The Wildlife Research Institute in Ely are speaking out.

Before shooting the bear, MN DNR officials say it made several snarl noises after repeated attempts to try and scare it away.

Ely Bear Research, Dr. Lynn Rogers believes the homeowners and the conservation officer misinterpreted the bear's behavior.

Dr. Rogers says bears don't snarl or hiss, and believes the bear likely made a blowing sound which indicates nervousness and fear.

"I wish, since we were just a half a mile from that place, that they would have called us and got some input about how to handle that situation because that is the last bear that would ever be threatening anybody," Dr. Rogers said.

Dr. Rogers says he'd been working with Noliana for about a month before her death.

DNR Officials believe the bear had become too used to humans due to hand feeding.