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Author Topic: Lily, the Black bear Cam  (Read 43803 times)
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Donna
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« Reply #60 on: 20-Jun-11, 12:02:07 PM »

Love how they play together. Cute, thanks Kris!
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Kris G.
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« Reply #61 on: 24-Sep-11, 07:55:58 PM »

Just before bear hunting season opened, several research bears had radio-collars and ribbons put on them to protect them from being killed.  Hope wouldn't keep hers on and now she's been missing for a week and there are fears she has been killed by a hunter.  crying

Update September 23, 2011 – 8:27 PM CDT.

by Lily the Black Bear on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 11:42pm
.
Losing Hope

 We are still waiting for information from the Department of Natural Resources about any young females that might have been registered from this area.  Meanwhile, we heard back from a hunter who began baiting in this area shortly before Hope disappeared.  We know this hunter would not shoot a radio-collared bear.  He wrote that he passed up Jo and her cub and Ursula and her two cubs—bears whose GPS locations showed them at his bait—but he didn’t mention Lily or say whether or not he had killed Hope.

 We had checked his bait site earlier in the season and it wasn’t being used.  On the 15th, we began to see Jo, Ursula, Lily and their families frequenting the area.  When we drove by the site on September 16, we found fresh signs of baiting—a well-used trail leading to the bait site.  We couldn’t walk in to check more closely because that could be construed as hunter harassment.  We hoped for the best.  Hope shortly went missing.

 Lily's family bedsite near large white pine -- log in foreground torn open as they searched for grubsYesterday, we downloaded Lily’s GPS locations for that time period and retraced Lily’s steps to look for clues.  We found a well-used bedsite only 140 yards from the hunter’s bait site.

 We know from walking with bears at this time of year that it’s not unusual for cubs to leave their sleeping mothers and forage up to half a mile away.  We suspect that may be what happened.  Hope—possibly with Faith—may have ventured into the bait site.  The hunter would not have known this big yearling was still with her mother—still nursing along with her younger sister.  He would not have known it was Hope.

 We don’t want to jump to conclusions, which is why we waited to hear from the hunter and are still waiting to hear from the DNR, which won’t happen now until Monday at the earliest.

 So when we got a call of a young bear treed near Ely, we took a look.  It wasn’t Hope.  It was a pair of cubs we had received a call about yesterday, too.  The neighborhood had secretly enjoyed seeing the mother with cubs.  The residents became worried when a hunter began baiting nearby.  Shortly, the cubs were repeatedly seen alone.  Today, they were up trees where the landowners had not seen them before, and they called hoping they had found missing Hope.

 We feel like we did when June and her cubs went missing back in 2005.  We feared she had been shot.  That was the first experience like that for Sue, who had spent hundreds of hours with June, and she felt the huge loss until June’s signal was picked from an airplane by DNR researchers over 15 miles outside her usual area.  We feel like Lynn did when he homed in by airplane on the radio signal of a deer he had walked with for over 2 years as it grew up and had a fawn.  He had raised the deer on a bottle until she would come to his call.  Then he released her into the wild and watched her integrate with wild deer, even becoming the leader of wild deer she grouped with in a wintering area.  When he spotted the deer from the airplane, she was lying dead, having escaped from the hunter with an arrow through her.  He couldn’t talk about it, not even to his wife Donna, for nearly a week until he had his own emotions sufficiently in check to tell about it.

 Hope was/is special.  If she really is gone, we can say that she had so much more to teach.  We wonder how Faith feels with her buddy gone.  We wonder how Lily feels.  After her hormone problems were resolved, she became a devoted mother again, playing, nursing, and looking out for Hope as well as Faith.  She gave up food for herself to let Hope and Faith have it.  Now she has no choice but to move on without Hope, and we guess that is all we can do, too.  We want to believe she is okay somewhere and maintain a glimmer of hope.   But the email from the hunter made that hope very slim.  It’s true she wasn’t collared, but we had hoped that Hope’s story would play out.  We had more to learn from her.

 We don’t know what to say.  We suspect that some of you would know exactly what to say and could say it very eloquently, but we would rather you didn’t say it on Lily’s page or on any page associated with the research or the Bear Center.  We thank you all for your cooperation.

 Glenn and Nancy spent the rest of yesterday and most of today monitoring Cookie to make sure she stayed away from the beehive.  She did.  Instead, she headed toward the area where she denned last winter.  She is undoubtedly pregnant, so she should den any day now.  The landowner took precautions beyond the electric fence he and we put up around his hives.  He found a bigger electric fence and put that up, too.  He very much cares about his bees.  In fact, he told us that he stayed up all night after finding Cookie at the hives that first evening.  He couldn’t help falling asleep about 5 AM.  When he awoke about 6:30 AM, he found that Cookie had been back and damaged a hive.  He said he cried like a baby.  We appreciate his working with us instead of just shooting her when he first saw her the evening before.

 Braveheart managed to remove her radio-collar again (!), and we were lucky to get an opportunity to replace it.  However, the new collar doesn’t have a GPS unit yet.  When we visited her to give her a GPS unit, she wasn’t in a mood to accept it.  We’ll try again.  Braveheart is the typically calm bear that was featured in the Minneapolis Star Tribune a couple years ago.  But as bears slow down for hibernation, there are times when we hesitate to push them too hard.  Any person or bear has limits.

 
On the bright side, all indications are that the other bears are fine.  We are noticing movements that let us know some are headed for dens.  We’ll all rest easier when they all ‘go to ground’ –another term for ‘denning.’
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Donna
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« Reply #62 on: 24-Sep-11, 09:46:46 PM »

This is just so terribly sad. I hope for "Hopes" sake, it wasn't her. Yes,  crying
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« Reply #63 on: 24-Sep-11, 10:52:19 PM »

 pray
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« Reply #64 on: 25-Sep-11, 08:37:44 AM »

this is such sad news!  I hate hearing that a special one like Hope could be lost!   crying  bang head
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« Reply #65 on: 26-Sep-11, 11:20:53 PM »

Part of today's update:   Sad

Update September 26, 2011 – 8:31 PM CDT
.by Lily the Black Bear on Monday, September 26, 2011 at 10:29pm.

Hope, Hunting, and the Media

As we come to grips with the loss of Hope, we are mainly thankful for her life.  She brought people together to learn about black bears.  She was part of the biggest worldwide bear education project we know.  She has changed the attitudes of thousands, perhaps millions, through the internet and documentaries.  Her death is a tragedy.  There is so much more we all could have learned.  Her death is a blow to science, education, the region, and us, including all of you.  But it is not the end.  It is a hurdle.  We’ll all continue to do the best we can with what is left.   

 We are still waiting for the DNR and the hunter to tell us what happened.  We left a message on the hunter’s phone and a message with the DNR.  From the DNR we want to know about any bear registered from that bait.  We promised them that we would not give out the hunter’s name.  Although the DNR has not responded to us yet, we have received information that they intend to provide us with the registration information we are seeking but will not name the hunter.  It sounds like a bear was registered as we thought.

 We wish none of this would have happened—for Hope, for the study, for the grief it has caused, and for our relationship with this hunter.  We thank the DNR for their intention to provide the registration information.
 

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Bobbie Ireland
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« Reply #66 on: 27-Sep-11, 04:16:36 AM »

I can hardly read this. Shoot Hope? For what?
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Donna
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« Reply #67 on: 27-Sep-11, 05:41:58 AM »

I can hardly read this. Shoot Hope? For what?

Hunting season, since she kept taking the the collar off she was fair game, so to speak. Very sad if it was her. It's been a week and no "Hope". That's why I do not like "Bear" hunting! Sad
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Kris G.
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« Reply #68 on: 27-Sep-11, 08:55:02 AM »

I can hardly read this. Shoot Hope? For what?

A trophy on his wall, meat on his table?   They do eat bear there.
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« Reply #69 on: 27-Sep-11, 10:34:49 AM »

I can hardly read this. Shoot Hope? For what?

In a perfect world...

http://www.youtube.com/tippexperience
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Bobbie Ireland
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« Reply #70 on: 27-Sep-11, 10:54:24 AM »

According to the BBC website:

"Recreational hunting is permitted by licence in the state but hunters are asked not to shoot collared bears."

This is recreation?!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/15075332
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Dumpsterkitty
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« Reply #71 on: 27-Sep-11, 11:36:13 AM »

This is one of those areas where head & heart conflicting make my head & heart hurt. 

Further on in the Bear Center article today they point out that Lynn Rogers actually helped write the hunting regulations.  Before there was controlled "recreational" hunting it was free-for-all 24/7/365 bears are fair game.  Dr. Rogers often points out that a clean shot by a hunter at a bait site is more humane than a wounding shot where the bear then wanders off to die in pain.  There has been a lot of progress in getting hunters to avoid shooting collared bears.  Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, Hope would not allow herself to be collared.   

Would I personally ever hunt?  No.  Can I understand someone who does to put food on the table?  Absolutely.  I live in an area popular with deer hunters.  As much as I love watching the herd in my back yard, there is a serious problem with overpopulation.  Overpopulation leads to disease.  I have no tolerance for "hunters" who take their "trophy" and leave the rest.  But I have shared venison with hunters who hunt properly and as humanely as possible.  I can respect them while choosing to not do as they do.

Yes, in a perfect world we wouldn't need to even think about this.  I was fond of Hope too and I wish it had turned out differently, but without a collar she looked like any other bear.  Very, very sad.

 crying
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MAK
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« Reply #72 on: 27-Sep-11, 12:00:18 PM »

I can hardly read this. Shoot Hope? For what?

In a perfect world...

http://www.youtube.com/tippexperience

 goodone
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Donna
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« Reply #73 on: 27-Sep-11, 12:04:24 PM »

So they hunt juveniles too? I would think a hunter would know the difference between a young and an adult. Are all bears fair game, no matter the age and size? Very disturbing!
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« Reply #74 on: 27-Sep-11, 12:09:29 PM »

So they hunt juveniles too? I would think a hunter would know the difference between a young and an adult. Are all bears fair game, no matter the age and size? Very disturbing!
Unfortunately, older than a year is legal.  Could the regulations be improved?  Definitely.  And I hope they are. 
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