Hunted Bear Is Brother Of Famous Black Bear

By KBJR News 1

September 23, 2010 Updated Sep 23, 2010 at 6:43 PM CDT

Two research bears of world renowned bear researcher Dr. Lynn Rogers were shot earlier in the season, and one turned out to be a family member of northern Minnesota's favorite bear.

Young black bear Cal was born in the same litter as the world famous Lily.

One of 14 collared bears in Dr. Lynn Rogers research group, it wasn't until this week that Cal's fate was learned.

"He was shot on September 3rd, the third day of hunting season. He wasn't a bear we were following closely because he was so far away so we weren't able to catch up with him and put colored ribbons on him like we were the other bears, so it's possible the hunter didn't see the collar," said Dr. Rogers.

Rogers says Cal's distant wanderings gave a new insight as to how young male black bears travel.

"We found that we went up into Canada, came back down, went back up to Canada; denned there, and then went 130 miles down near McGregor. It was just a really interesting story developing and I really wish he hadn't been shot," said Dr. Rogers.

Cal was one of two research bears of Lynn Rogers to be shot this season.

The DNR has also taken some hits too, losing four of their collared bears.

Mark Holsten is the Commissioner of the Minnesota DNR and says because of interference with their research, a ban against shooting collared bears is unlikely.

"We don't want to change that status, because if all of a sudden we start protecting collared bears, it's going to changing what research, or the outcome of research on our end," said Holsten.

DNR collars are able to be transferred between bears to keep research going. Rogers points out that's something his study doesn't allow.

"We're doing the only study of it's kind in the world where you have to have the trust of these bears to walk with them and see how they live. We're not studying how they die, we're studying how they live," said Dr. Rogers.

DNR officials, Minnesota Bear Guides, and the North American Bear Center continue to urge hunters to look carefully at the bears they're hunting, and spare any that have a collar.