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Mama Bear May Not Be Relocated From Area Near Dartmouth College

A mama bear in New Hampshire that was saved by the community last year is back in Hanover. Officials initially thought they'd try to let her coexist in the densely populated college town, but a recent incident is making them reconsider.

Officials put a radio collar on the bear back in April and have been tracking her ever since. So when NBC10 Boston got to Hanover to cover the story, they took our crew right to the bear.

Within just a few minutes, our cameras captured the mama bear residents call "Mink," along with her four cubs up in a tree.

They were in the woods behind Hanover High School, but a few a few nights ago, Mink was in Ellen Rockmore's front yard.

"One night, she spooked our dog, and the next, she spooked our 12-year-old daughter," Rockmore said.

Mink's story started last May. She and her cubs were set to be euthanized after they got into a home just about a mile from the Dartmouth campus, but a grassroots effort to save the animals drew support from around the world.

Even Gov. Chris Sununu got involved, ordering wildlife officials to relocate the bears instead of putting them down.

The cubs were relocated, but officials couldn't find Mink before she went into hibernation.

So now, she's back with her four new cubs.

"She is very comfortable here," said Rockmore.

Michael Hinsley, assistant chief at the Hanover Fire Department, has been working with state officials and tracking Mink for three years. Hinsley was hopeful that Mink and her cubs could coexist with residents.

"Do I think this bear poses a threat to them?" he asked. "I don't.:

But he admits he was discouraged when the bear was spotted on the Hanover High School Football field a couple days ago.

"She crossed the line," Hinsley said. "There are residents in the town of Hanover and students at Dartmouth that are here now, and I and my colleagues' job is to make sure they're safe."

Officials say if Mink and her cubs are relocated, they might not survive. They also say if Mink is removed from Hanover, another bear will likely take over the territory.

At this point, state wildlife leaders are still trying to decide what's next for Mink and her cubs.

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