Hope Remembered - UPDATE September 16, 2019

Hope - 1/22/2010 - 9/22/2011Hope - 1/22/2010 - 9/16/2011

An obituary written by Teresa Fortney tells the story in short:

"Hope passed away Sept 16, 2011 in Ely, MN. Born Jan 22, 2010, she was only 20 months old. She is survived by her mother Lily, grandmother June, Grandfather Harry, sister Faith and numerous aunts and uncles. Four months after birth, Hope was abandoned by her mother but later reunited joyfully to spend the remainder of her life with her. She had endured nights by herself in the woods surrounded by large animals and found milk that had been left for her to survive. A special thanks to caregivers Dr. Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield for their nonstop care and concern and helping to reunite Hope with her mother. Hope was such a mischievous one always living life to the fullest. She was known for being the best big sister ever, a playful and independent daughter, and the most enduring youngster ever! She received “superstar” status as she was born while millions and millions of people watched her birth all over the world on camera and immediately fell in love with her first cry. Her story has helped educate children and adults alike and many have traveled far and wide to her home to see it. While we mourn her death, we know that she just like her name brought us HOPE. Donations helped build the Hope Learning Center. Many of her friends have met and continue to meet yearly to honor her memory. Her legacy will certainly be carried on for many years to come. She achieved more in her short life than many adults do in their whole lifetime. So glad I had the chance to get to know Hope……..the best Bear cub ever!"


Also a picture and memory sent to me today by Trish Kirk:

Hope - by Trish KirkHope - by Trish Kirk

"I got to meet Hope as a young cub, here sitting on the ground in front of me. She stole my heart, along with the hearts of thousands of others. And I know our hearts are still broken...... She helped Doc build an empire out of love, compassion, and empathy for the sake science, education and dispelling misconceptions. Who would have guessed the amazing friendships that grew out of this blessed little bear and her mother Lily."

And finally, we put together a nice page with a collection of words, pictures, and video as a tribute to the special moments we all shared in watching Lily, Hope, and then Faith and Jason in and out of the den. You can find it by clicking here, and it will also remain linked under the "Research" tab in the top menu.

We will never forget Hope and will continue on with what her name means:


Hope for bear populations
everywhere, including
endangered species
around the world

Lily & Hope in the den 3-17-10Lily & Hope in the den

Opportunity to learn
what bears are really like

Lily & Hope 8-16-10Lily & Hope

Progress toward
correcting misconceptions
and changing attitudes

Lily & Hope 8-16-10Lily & Hope

Education about bear life

Lily nursing Hope and cubs 4-8-11Lily nursing Hope and cubs


Those words and memories of Hope are what made us name the new classroom the Hope Learning Center Classroom.

We will never forget Hope.

Fittingly, Mike and Lorie saw Lily and her four cubs in person today in a safe area!

We wish we would see Faith. She moved far southwest into an area with few roads that can only be reached by a long circuitous route from here. The video of Faith on the "Lily, Hope, Faith and Jason" page brings back many memories of her playing with Hope and Lily. Faith was so bonded to Hope that she showed in many ways how much she missed her. The winter den where Faith resumed playing with Lily fittingly was where Mike and Lorie saw Lily today.

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center