Walking with Bears

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Lyons Press, 1999 - Nature - 248 pages
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Some people prefer to walk in the woods alone. Terry DeBruyn walks with bears. Set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, this is the account of an extraordinary human-ursine story. Biologist DeBruyn believes that the only way to protect a wild species is to determine precisely what they do all day.

To find out, DeBruyn pioneered a G.P.S. monitoring system for radio-collared bears, but he soon realized the only way to truly understand the animal is to enter her world. Not so easy when the subject is a 250-pound North American black bear with cubs. Black bears are enormously powerful animals, though very shy of humans. So, first, DeBruyn must convince an individual bear to stick around long enough to learn she has nothing to fear. When he finally accomplishes this, the rewards are immense. Carmen and her daughter Netti and, later, Netti's daughter June are the ambassadors who grant us a glimpse into bear life. DeBruyn is their interpreter. He is a privileged guest, watching intimate family scenes: nursing, grooming, and wrestling among den mates. He learns as much about the moods and emotional life of bears as about their dietary requirements. "Walking With Bears" is an endearing tale of interspecies friendship. It will forever change the way we view one of the most fascinating and feared of all wild animals.

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Walking with Bears: One Man's Relationship with Three Generations of Wild Bears

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For six seasons in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, biologist DeBruyn spent up to 15 hours a day observing black bears. Habituated to his presence, the bears allowed him to be close enough to identify the ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Debruyn is currently on assignment at the remote Brooks Camp in Alaska, studying interactions between humans and grizzly bears.

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