ELY-Bear researchers in Ely say a black bear killed by conservation officers did not deserve to die.
A conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources shot a one-year-old, radio-collared female after a complaint that the animal entered a garage while children were inside.
This bear had come to researcher's attention after a car apparently hit it, Ely Bear Center researcher Lynn Roger said.
He said another researcher put a collar on the bear, named Noliana, so they could give it antibiotics to help it heal.
Even then, Dr. Rogers said, the creature acted extremely docile and did not requiring tranquilizers to put the equipment on.
That described personality differs from the story given by a vacationing family who said they unsuccessfully tried to scare the bear away only to have it snarl at them.
Bear researchers at the Ely center said the animals do not make snarling noises and complaints like these only require two things: what a bear does and how people feel about it.
"And if a bear was in a yard, for most people around here, or they've been feeding bears, hand feeding bears for more than 50 years – they would have enjoyed just seeing it," Dr. Rogers said.
"But when people arrived a day or two earlier from Texas and find a bear in their yard, they have the fears that much of the public has," Dr. Rogers said.
Under DNR policy and state law conservation officers may kill bears if they determine the animals are a threat to public safety.
Researchers say they first met the family who made the complaint last year after a different complaint from the same people.
An average of about 20 bears are killed each year by the Minnesota DNR.
Employees at the Ely Bear Center say education about the animals and understanding could prevent what happened yesterday.