Saturday, July 29, 2006


Bears are a wonderful critter to have running through your local forest. I am very pro-bear. When allowed by law, I am pro-hunting bear. Hunting keeps animals wary of people and is good for the long-term survival of the species.

I love my teddy bear.

I viewed a film about a bear expert, eco-warrior and con-artist Timothy Treadwell. Called Grizzly Man, it chronicled his life with the massive Brown Bears of Alaska. Much of the movie footage was shot by Timothy himself. He was no doubt an expert in bear behavior, to a point. The last point being that a bear attacked and ate him and his girlfriend in October 2003. At various times he believed he'd never be attacked, as well as he couldn't think of a better place to die than in this beautiful National Park on a peninsula off the south coast of Alaska. The tragedy is not that he died doing what he loved, but that it happened the day he and his girlfriend were to leave for the season, and she had no plans of returning because the bears scared her. Treadwell crossed the line with the bears, anthropomorphizing them, naming them, touching them. The native people there have always maintained respect for the bear as a bear. But the Grizzly Man felt he had a kinship with them. We are human beings, most of us reading this, and as much as we love animals, they are not just furry people. I understand the need many people have to protect animals. Humans don't have a very good record of taking care of wildlife over the centuries. But they need to stay wild, and out of human dwellings, garbage, and food caches. Timothy Treadwell had fabulous film footage of a family of foxes. They acted like pets around him. He fed them. Big no-no! Eventually he fed himself to a bear. I'm sorry we lost such a great advocate for the bear, but eventually his careless closeness with the Ursidae closed the book on his experiment.

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