MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 9 (UPI) — A radio-collared research bear killed in Minnesota was apparently legally taken during the state’s bear-hunting season, wildlife officials said.
Despite outrage and anti-hunting sentiment, Department of Natural Resources officials said they aren’t investigating the death of the yearling bear, which had been named Sarah by researchers who placed the collar on her neck, the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune reported Thursday.
“It’s a legal bear, as far as we know,” said Tom Rusch, DNR area wildlife manager in Tower, Minn.
The animal is one of 14 bears fitted with radio collars by researcher Lynn Rogers at the non-profit North American Bear Center in Ely, Minn.
Hunters have killed two other bears wearing radio collars placed by researchers since the season opened Sept. 1.
Officials said that’s the risk of doing research on an animal that also is hunted.
“We encourage people not to shoot radio-collared bears, but we don’t make it illegal because collars aren’t always visible,” said Ed Boggess, DNR policy section chief. “It’s not unexpected that something like this is going to occur.”
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