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Ely researcher confirms Hope the bear's death

Rogers (above) asks that people respect his desire to keep the hunter's name confidential. (2010 file / News Tribune)

The fears of fans of Hope the bear were realized today.

A hunter shot the bear, whose birth was covered on the Web two winters ago, on the evening of Sept. 16, according to a post on the Facebook page for Lily, Hope's mother.

According to the post, the hunter who killed Hope contacted the North American Bear Center today.

"She came into his bait site alone and the hunter had no clue it was Hope," the post by Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield said. "The hunter is known to us and has cooperated with us in the past. He would never shoot a collared bear and would not have deliberately shot Hope. He also is not a member of the 'Bounty' page and has never posted there.

"Please respect our desire to keep the hunter's name confidential," the post said. "Attacks on him or hunters in general will only serve to undermine our potential for future research and education. We will provide another update later today with additional information."