Many tears yesterday. We couldn’t get our thoughts together properly in time for an update last night. We had spent the day driving around looking for June’s telemetry signal after discovering she had not sent a GPS location since 7:41 PM the previous evening (Friday, September 27). Beginning to think the worst, Sue drove to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Office in Tower, MN, where she found the telemetry signal from June’s radio-collar coming from the building.
We called the local Conservation Officer for more information. He said he got a call Friday evening from a man wanting to drop off June’s radio-collar. We asked what had happened. To our surprise, the Conservation Officer would not even confirm whether or not June had been shot. He asked how we could be sure the radio-collar did not just happen to fall off? We wondered why the DNR would not just be straightforward with us about this.
We recalled a recent statement in the Ely Timberjay Newspaper, saying “DNR officials have indicated they are likely to enforce their decision against Rogers regardless of any ruling by an administrative law judge.”
We’re waiting for more information from the DNR. The loss of June is the biggest single blow to the research to date.
At this time we have no word on June's cubs—Ember and Cole.
Thank you for all you are doing at this sad time.
—Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield, Biologists, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center