The bears and I: raising three cubs in the North Woods

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Dutton, 1968 - Technology & Engineering - 224 pages
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When the author, a young prospector, is adopted by 3 motherless bear cubs, he tries to prepare them for independent life

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This is an amazing story.

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This is the first detailed narrative ever written in the English language about raising bear cubs in the wild -- i.e., about mentoring them to learn how to meet all the challenges of foraging and coping with other bears, as well as with other wildlife.
At first glance, certain aspects of the book seem too good to be true, making one wonder whether there is a dash of fiction. However those aspects of the book which I have been able to verify have proven valid. Leslie was a highly astute observer of bear behavior, judging from the close accord between his descriptions and findings of Dr. Stephen Stringham, who wild-reared orphans in Alaska a few years after Leslie's book was first published (read BEAUTY WITHIN THE BEAST, 2002). Leslie's findings also coincide with those of naturalists Ben Kilham (AMONG THE BEARS, 2002), Charlie Russell & Maureen Enns (GRIZZLY HEART, 2002).
This and Leslie's other books are wonderfully written and well worth seeking out, despite the many decades which have passed since their creation.
Leslie's later book MIRACLE ON SQUARE TOP MOUNTAIN relates his experiences with a colony of pikas in Wyoming. Some events it relates are so fantastic that, again, one would suspect fiction, were it not for Leslie's proven qualifications as a wildlife ecologist.


Adopted by the Bears
Danger Signals
Forest Fire

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