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Hunter Kills Hope, Famous Internet Bear

Hunter Kills Hope, Famous Internet Bear


Lily is a wild black bear who is part of long-term study of black bear ecology and behavior being conducted by Dr. Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield at the North American Bear Center and affiliated Wildlife Research Institute in Ely, Minn. It is currently the “longest and most detailed black bear study and the largest educational outreach program ever done for black bears.”

In 2010, a webcam was put into Lily’s den and on January 22, she gave birth to Hope, and simultaneously became the first wild black bear to give birth live on the Internet. Like the Decorah eagles, Lily and her cub captured the hearts and curiosity of thousands of people from around the world who were able to watch these bears and gain a new perspective as they learned about their secret lives in the wild.

Lily has more than 133,000 fans on Facebook.

Hope was last seen on September 14 with her mother, after which they wandered into an area with bear bait, but were not followed by researchers. The following day, Lily’s GPS collar showed that they had been at the station, but Lily had returned and was later seen with Hope’s younger sibling, Faith …but no Hope.

Unfortunately, bear baiting is legal in Minnesota, as is killing collared research bears. However, hunters are asked not to. Sadly, not all hunters are respectful, and some research bears have been shot in the past. Elsewhere on the World Wide Web, someone previously created a ‘Lily: Bear with a Bounty’ fanpage where jokes about “Hope jerky,” were made, along with other really profound comments that you would expect to find on such a site.

On Tuesday, an unnamed hunter confessed to killing Hope on September 16 when she came to his bait station. He claims he didn’t shoot her on purpose, though it’s hard to see how he wouldn’t have known, knowing they were in the area, or why he would even kill a juvenile bear at all. Rogers said “the hunter also did not express remorse.”

The news brought closure to everyone who was waiting for answers, but it also brought tears and anger to many who had been following Lily, Hope and Faith. Still Rogers stated he will not release the name of the hunter.

“I’ve gotten calls today from several people who could hardly talk through their tears, but there’s also a lot of anger. It’s a highly emotional item for the Lily fans. We’re just trying to figure out where we go from here. And we want to protect the hunter,” Rogers said.

“Minnesota bears belong to everyone. Why are they being managed for a dozen hunters that might see them instead of the thousands, actually about a quarter million people around the world, that want to learn from these bears? They need to be protected,” said Rogers last May when he was fighting for protection for collared bears. His petition gathered almost 28,000 signatures on Care2, while only about 100 signed the petition in opposition.

To learn more about Lily, Hope and Faith and find out how to help protect bears, visit and and see more footage on Youtube.


Related Stories:

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Photo credit: alh1 via flickr

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8:53AM PDT on May 26, 2012


7:15AM PDT on May 26, 2012

He should be named and shamed

4:56AM PDT on May 26, 2012

Just like the Canucks player another big bad hunter kills a baited bear.Only this time it is a baby bear,and that makes it even worse.These hunters need a brain evaluation to see if they have one that functions.This is just so revolting.

4:07PM PDT on May 25, 2012

HOW DARE THEY??? Hunting should be illegal!

11:36AM PDT on May 25, 2012

Absolutely disgusting!! Hunters are nothing but macho, beer swilling, cursing, parasites that unfortunately we have to allow on this great planet we call home. This home is to protect ALL creatures, not kill them. Maybe they should find some other "sport" like football and have each other bash each others "brains" in and then they can see what it is like to be beaten!

11:16AM PDT on May 25, 2012

Still to much non sense, in this world.

10:06AM PDT on May 25, 2012

I feared this very outcome two years ago while I watched Hope being born. I live in Minnesota, and I can tell you that some hunters can be mean and insensitive. They only care about the next kill.

10:05AM PDT on May 25, 2012

I feared this very outcome two years ago while I watched Hope being born. I live in Minnesota, and I can tell you that some hunters can be mean and insensitive. They only care about the next kill.

10:24PM PDT on May 24, 2012


10:21PM PDT on May 24, 2012

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. ---St. Francis of Assisi..."

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