World Renowned Bear Researcher Spends Time in Ely

By KBJR News 1

June 27, 2013 Updated Jun 27, 2013 at 7:51 PM CDT

Ely, MN (NNCNOW.com)-- A pair of world renowned bear researchers will be speaking in the Northland on Friday.

Dr. Lynn Rogers and Charlie Russell have dedicated their lives to studying the animals, hoping to change what they say is a negative perception.

Rogers researches black bears just outside of Ely, using video cameras and collars to track and study the bears. He wants, above all, to educate the public.

"The top thing that anyone can do for bears is educate the public and educating from people who true experience with bears is something you can't beat," said Rogers.

On a muggy and humid June afternoon, Rogers is swapping notes with somebody that has over 50 years of bear experience.

"I understand the relationship between humans and bears and if there's trust available."

Charlie Russell specializes in the relationships between grizzly bears and humans.

He even spent over ten years in an isolated area of Russia--just him and a group of grizzlies--learning that the bears are social and predictable.

"Just because they are around us doesn't mean they're going to attack us," said Russell.

He and Rogers considered themselves kindred spirits that share a perception that they feel isn't shared by the majority of people and they'll continue the discourse, hoping to education and share.

"Bears are wonderful animals and can be lived very closely with," said Russell.

"Bears are more predictable than we think and less dangerous than we think," said Rogers.

Charlie Russell will be speaking tomorrow at the Vermilion Community College Theater in Ely at 7:30.

Zach Vavricka

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