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Bear Studied by Minnesota DNR Dies at Lofty Age of 39

Photo courtesy of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) – A black bear that state officials studied in the wild for an unprecedented 32 years has died at the age of 39.

Reports say the bear was known as Bear No. 56. She lived far longer than most wild black bears; only a handful reach the age of 30.

Karen Noyce was a rookie biologist with the state Department of Natural Resources when she helped capture and collar Bear No. 56 in 1981. She believes the bear lived so long because she lived in a forested area with few people, and she tended to avoid humans.

Noyce says the bear and her offspring provided researchers with an almost uninterrupted record of reproduction, survival, movement and aging.

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