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 Sarah Bear

Sarah Bear

Death 7 Sep 2010 (aged 1)
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 58480584 · View Source
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Sarah was on face book and twitter. She had over 200,000 fans world wide. It is a devastating loss. We here in Minnesota will always remember her.

Braveheart's yearling daughter Sarah is dead. Her radio-collar was covered with bright ribbons (photo left taken Aug 26, photo right taken Sept 4). We thought she was safe.

We picked up her blood-spotted radio-collar from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources this morning. It had been turned in anonymously.

We are at a loss what to do to combat this kind of loss. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources posted a picture of a radio-collared bear with ribbons like on Sarah's collar and asked hunters not to shoot these bears. The Minnesota Bear Guides Association asked their hunters to spare radio-collared bears. We contacted all the hunters we know in this area to introduce them to bears and answer their questions.

We have gotten the word out every way we know, including signs throughout the study area. And thanks to Lily fans, a huge amount of media coverage told how the radio-collared bears are helping science, education, and the regional economy.

Sarah was a gentle, trusting, and trustworthy bear with the calm personality that allows a person to accompany her and be ignored.

Such a bear is a window into bear life for both us and the world.

One goal with Sarah was to document her changing relationship with Braveheart as Sarah grew to maturity in Braveheart's territory. We wanted to confirm or contrast those data with what we are learning from June and her daughter Lily. Sarah likely would have carved out a territory within Braveheart's territory, while big Braveheart usurped part of neighboring territories to make room (photo below taken early July).

We began such a study in 2006 with Braveheart's daughter Gracie. We remember our worry during hunting season as people repeatedly tore down our signs in Gracie's area. We tied ribbons on Gracie's collar. Someone who watched her run across a road said she looked like a clown with all those ribbons! Shortly, a hunter shot her and turned in the radio-collar.

We waited for Braveheart's next litter, but it was 3 males, and males don't set up territories in their mother's territory.

Braveheart's third litter included Sarah, but the opportunity for all that this gentle bear could reveal again ended with a bullet.

Ethical hunters are reacting with disgust, saying "that is not hunting!"

We both felt the hopeless sense of somehow being violated. We hoped our shaking wasn't noticeable as we spoke to cameras for the BBC documentary. We know you understand our feelings.

We re-checked the other radio-collared bears. They seem to be safe. But we are still worried about the trail cam on a bear trail on the edge of the property here.

Thank you for your support through the hard times as well as the joyous ones.

—Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield, Biologists, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center
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  • Created by: Diane ღ
  • Added: 10 Sep 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 58480584
  • Diane ღ
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sarah Bear (14 Feb 2009–7 Sep 2010), Find A Grave Memorial no. 58480584, ; Maintained by Diane ღ (contributor 46588406) Unknown.