DNR Officials Kill Collared Bear Near Ely

By KBJR News 1

DNR Officials Kill Collared Bear Near Ely

August 3, 2012 Updated Aug 3, 2012 at 3:32 PM CDT

Ely, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- A DNR official had to kill a collared black bear that was being studied by the North American Bear Center in Ely after it entered a garage where children were present and refused to leave the area.

The Bear Center has confirmed that it was Noliana who was shot and killed after she entered a garage in Ely and refused to leave.

The DNR received a call from residents in Ely who were complaining that a bear had entered their garage where there children were playing.

The residents reported they made multiple, unsuccessful attempts to scare the bear away, including using an air horn, and that the bear snarled at them.

Two conservation officers arrived on the scene to try to scare the bear away. The bear appeared to have been habituated to humans through hand feeding. After the bear refused to leave the residence, despite attempts by a conservation officer to frighten it away, the officer killed the bear.

The DNR will examine the bear carcass for disease or other maladies.

The Bear Center has sent out the following statement to the news of the bear's death:

"Little Noliana—the injured bear we thought was Oliana until the real Oliana showed—was shot and killed today. The reason—fear. We will likely never know who this yearling was. She never once came to the Research Center. We were studying her to learn who this trusting bear was and where she would fit into the local social organization. So far, we have not been able to determine she is part of Shadow’s Clan. The DNR called to tell us so we wouldn’t search in vain for her signal. They have her carcass but couldn’t give more details at this time. We learned more on our own and can only say that the reason for the killing was the usual fear and lack of understanding of bears. That’s why we strive to educate.

We are happy that in the decades we have been studying and educating, bear numbers more than tripled in Minnesota. We are happy that most members of this community have learned to understand and coexist with bears. Some newcomers arrive with the usual fears. Overall, we are happy that bears living in and around this community tend to live longer than bears in the overall population. Shadow’s clan is testament to that. Little Noliana was an exception. That’s all we can say at this time."

Under DNR policy and state law, conservation officers and other enforcement agencies may kill nuisance bears if it is determined the bear is a threat to public safety.

The DNR generally does not trap and relocate nuisance bears because the animals often will return to the same area or create a problem somewhere else.

An average of about 20 bears are killed legally each year in Minnesota under state laws that allow private property owners or peace officers to take bears to protect property and public safety.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns