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Hope, the 20-month-old female bear studied by Ely bear researchers became famous when a den camera recorded her birth and first weeks in the den during the winter of 2010. Now her fans fear she may have been killed by a hunter. (Photo by J. Runion)

Researcher confirms Hope, famed Internet bear, is dead

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DULUTH - The fears of Hope the bear fans were confirmed Tuesday.

The bear whose birth and life near Ely were covered on the Web and followed by thousands worldwide was shot by a hunter on Sept. 16, according to a post on the Facebook page for Lily, Hope's mother.

According to the post, the hunter who killed a bear believed to be Hope contacted Wildlife Research Institute biologists Tuesday.

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