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Opinion: Remembering Bear No. 56

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She was a bear that didn’t have a name.

Known to DNR researchers as bear No. 56, the world’s oldest-known wild bear died of old age in Itasca County at the age of 39.

How unusual was she?

Half the female bears in Minnesota don’t live past age 4, and just 5 percent make it to age 15, according to DNR bear project leader Dave Garshelis.

A 2010 DNR report involving 60,000 bears found that only three lived past age 30.

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