The Essential Grizzly

The Essential Grizzly

The Mingled Fates of Men and Bears

Book - 2006
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Globe Fearon Co
In May 2003, naturalist Charlie Russell, known for his close-up work with black and grizzly bears in British Columbia, returned to the site of his research with brown bears in Kamchatka to find his subjects missing and the gall bladder of a bear cub nailed to his cabin door. Upon further investigation, Russell and his partner concluded that between twenty and forty of the bears they'd been working with had been killed by organized poachers. Five months later, Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard were spotted from the air by the pilot who'd come to pick them up from their campsite in remote coastal Alaska. They had been killed and eaten by the grizzlies Timothy had observed and lived with for thirteen years.

Neither the bear community nor the international press knew what to make of these tragedies. Why the seemingly needless deaths of both men and bears? Especially disturbing were the deaths of Treadwell and Huguenard. Though death by wild beast today strikes us as utterly unexpected, humans have experienced this extreme form of animal interaction throughout the millennia of their evolution.

Men and Bears explores these kinds of encounters, beginning with interviews--of biologists, mauling victims, hunters, native people, photographers--all kinds of people who have had close contact with grizzly bears. Doug and Andrea Peacock then wrap these human narratives in the universe of the bear, with the benefit of modern and traditional knowledge of bear behavior. To these they add unique portraits, sketches of real grizzlies from the viewpoint of the bear, along with the parallel human story of an actual encounter. Last, they provide the context of Doug's extensive experience in grizzly country, considered by many people to be the most authoritative in the world.

The urban dweller's craving for these timeless, sometimes horrific, stories reveals an aching desire to understand our own place in the world and in the landscapes of human evolution--a wildness now vanishing before our eyes. Filling a gap in the literature, Men and Bears eclipses existing books on bear behavior, attacks, and how-to pamphlets, providing readers with a twenty-first-century context for revisiting the original shudder of Homo sapiens--the bear or the lion in the cave of our genesis--and finding a measure of familiarity and value there.

The most comprehensive and assiduous chronicle of human-grizzly bear interactions ever written.

Book News
The authors explore the broad range of human-grizzly bear relationships, primarily through integrating interviews with a wide variety of individuals who have had experiences with the large carnivorous mammals, including hunters, biologists, photographers, mauling victims, conservationists, Native Americans, and many others. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Guilford, Conn : Lyons Press, c2006
ISBN: 9781592288489
Branch Call Number: 599.784 PEA
Characteristics: xviii, 238 p., [8] p. of plates :,col. ill. ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Peacock, Andrea


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