Hope the Black Bear Made Famous on the Internet now Missing

Sep 27, 2011, 08:44 by R.E. Christian

Wildlife researchers in Minnesota say hopes are fading that a black bear name Hope, whose birth was watched by thousands on the Internet, is still alive.

Hope, who was not wearing a radio collar, was last seen near Ely Sept. 21 when her family was spotted near a hunter's bait.

Lynn Rogers, founder of the North American Bear Center, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune he fears the 2-year-old bear was killed by the hunter.

"We e-mailed him asking if he shot Hope," Rogers said. "He responded to other questions but not to that one."

The newspaper said the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sent letters to hunters at the start of bear season, asking them to spare radio-collared bears.

Rogers said researchers had been unable to keep a collar on Holly because she kept removing them.

Thousands of people from around the world watched on the Internet via a "den cam" two winters ago as her mother Lily gave birth to Holly, the newspaper said.

Source: UPI