Listening to the 16 people who gathered Monday at the Ground Round, you might have thought the “Lily” and “Hope” they mentioned were cherished family members. And even though the duo highly spoken of are mother and cub black bears, they are like family to thousands of devoted fans.
Lynn Rogers didn’t plan it this way, but he’s hoping that the popularity of last winter’s den cam and the ongoing drama involving Hope and Lily will help the North American Bear Center he helped found to crawl out of debt.
Lynn Rogers says he started research in Eagles Nest Township west of Ely in 1996 because he learned that residents there already had been feeding bears for decades and he wanted to know how that affected bear behavior. Rogers says bears in the township were accustomed to humans long before he moved his work there.
Lynn Rogers’ work with black bears has been controversial for years. Now, with the real-time saga of Hope and Lily playing out on computer screens around the world, Rogers has attracted unprecedented fame.
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