Bears: Without Fear by Kevin Van Tighem

By Kevin Van Tighem

Fear of bears turns out virtually to join what it really is to be human. Our species emerged out of the depths of time right into a global already populated by means of those nice carnivores. earlier than we mastered iron and later built firearms, we had few defences opposed to bears—only watchful warning and complex ceremonies and sacrifices to beat back fear.

Where human populations develop, bears have generally diminished or disappeared. but if we go back to the wild, to areas the place bears nonetheless continue to exist, all our primeval fears wake up back. the danger of an vehicle twist of fate in an effort to endure kingdom a long way outstrips the chance of a close-range come upon with a undergo, yet its the undergo that concerns us as we hurtle down the pavement at 100 kilometres an hour.

In this well timed and delicate publication, Kevin Van Tighem calls on many years of expertise, wisdom and figuring out so one can enlighten readers approximately our dating with and angle towards bears. alongside the way in which we're faced with the realities confronting those nice animals due to our ever-expanding human inhabitants and their ever-shrinking ordinary habitat. via ancient study, box statement, useful recommendation, own anecdotes and an array of lovely photographs, Van Tighem has written a entire booklet that's intended to demystify bears with a purpose to advertise a deeper figuring out of those strong but susceptible creatures.

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Banff ’s problems, however, were more complicated than keeping bears away from food and garbage. As Canada’s oldest national park, Banff has a development history that continues to make it difficult for bears to live normal lives in the mountain landscape. The Trans-Canada Highway traverses the low-elevation Bow valley, through some of Banff ’s most diverse and productive wildlife habitats, from one side of the park to the other. By the late 1970s, the highway had become what biologists described as “a moving wall of steel” – its heavy traffic killed more than two hundred large animals a year, including bears.

The famous drawings of Pooh, however, depict a third bear: a toy belonging to Graham Shepard, the son of the illustrator. H. Shepard was one of the first illustrators to receive a share of book royalties – Milne insisted on giving him 20 per cent, in recognition of the role his drawings played in the success of Milne’s books. Shepard also illustrated Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. 38 1983 through 1994 only fifteen grizzlies died from management action. And in the first twelve years of the twenty-first century, park wardens had to kill only two.

Bears belong to the order Carnivora, along with dogs, cats, weasels and raccoons. All carnivores have sharp, elongated canine teeth for puncturing and tearing flesh, and specially designed molars for slicing and shredding. They also have highly refined senses and learning abilities, important attributes for animals that must hunt for their food. But black bears and grizzlies – western North America’s two modern bear species – only occasionally dine on meat, unlike most other carnivores. They are opportunistic omnivores, eating vegetable matter most of the time but taking advantage, when they can, of temporary abundances of fish, insects or meat.

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