cover image Among Grizzlies: Living with Wild Bears in Alaska

Among Grizzlies: Living with Wild Bears in Alaska

Timothy Treadwell. HarperCollins, $24 (208pp) ISBN 978-0-06-017393-7

In the mid-1980s, Treadwell, then an alcoholic and drug addict who had barely lived through an overdose, decided for the sake of his survival to study grizzly bears. Treadwell had no experience in wilderness camping and no academic credits, and he'd never encountered wild bears. He has now spent eight seasons alone and unarmed (except for a can of Bear Mace, used one time) observing grizzlies in their natural habitat. (When not in Alaska, Treadwell works for a California foundation, Grizzly People, where Palovak is vice-president.) In this remarkable report, Treadwell tells of camping at four sites, fairly inaccessible and legally off-limits to human hunters. His subjects, coastal brown grizzlies, are reputedly more tolerant than other species and migrate in large numbers to areas with abundant food. As Treadwell immerses himself in their daily lives, the bears accept his presence, follow him, sleep near his tent and permit him to enter their space. He gives them names, talks and sings to them. He acquires a companion, a fox, and later meets its mate and pups. Treadwell's lively if anthropomorphic account is an inspiring story of recovery and will be a treat for readers of any age. It would make a terrific TV or feature film, too. Photos. Author tour. (Apr.)