Among the Bears: Raising Orphan Cubs in the Wild

Overview

In the spring of 1993 Ben Kilham, a naturalist who lives in the woodlands of New Hampshire, began raising a pair of orphaned wild black bears. The experience changed his life. While spending thousands of hours with the cubs, Kilham discovered unknown facets of bear behavior that have radically revised our understanding of animal behavior. Now widely recognized for his contributions to wildlife science, Kilham reveals that black bears are altruistic and cooperate with unrelated, even unknown, individuals, while ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (19) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $47.31   
  • Used (17) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$47.31
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(18)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
New Gift Quality Book in Excellent Condition.

Ships from: Newton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$58.77
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(214)

Condition: New

Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

In the spring of 1993 Ben Kilham, a naturalist who lives in the woodlands of New Hampshire, began raising a pair of orphaned wild black bears. The experience changed his life. While spending thousands of hours with the cubs, Kilham discovered unknown facets of bear behavior that have radically revised our understanding of animal behavior. Now widely recognized for his contributions to wildlife science, Kilham reveals that black bears are altruistic and cooperate with unrelated, even unknown, individuals, while our closer relatives, the supposedly more highly evolved chimps, cooperate only within troops of recognizable members.

Kilham, who turned a disability, dyslexia, to his advantage as a naturalist, offers fascinating insights into the emotional life of bears. His work also illustrates how black bears' powerful intelligence has enabled them to survive bounties and overhunting to become North America's dominant omnivore, familiar to every reader. Beyond natural history, he introduces individual bears who become enthralling and memorable characters. Among the Bears explores the breaking down of mutual suspicion and the building up of trust between the species, with its hopeful implications for the shared future of humans and animals in the wild.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Ben Kilhamm, a naturalist living in rural New Hampshire, takes the reader on a wonderful and insightful journey into the lives of wild bear cubs. He begins his adventure at the suggestion of a friend who has two abandoned and malnourished bear cubs. Although Kilhamm has spent his life around animals, helping to care for those that were sick and injured, this would be his first experience with bears. He begins with very little knowledge of raising cubs and decides that the best way for these bears to have a future is to be raised in the wild. And so Ben begins his life as a surrogate mother to the cubs, and with this new role comes lots of adventure and mishap.

As the bears bond with their surrogate parent, we are given a deeper insight into how bears communicate, experience the world around them, and care for each other. With each set of cubs that Ben brings up we are introduced to different and complex personalities. We find out through Ben's experience that the bears' bond with each other and him by suckling. We also learn that they communicate their plans to each other ahead of time, with one of the cubs letting Ben know what they intend. As the bears get older, Ben takes them on longer journeys through the woods of New Hampshire, and it is during these walks that we see the cubs explore their world. Some of the trees that the cubs come upon seem to really excite them, indicating that they are a bulletin board of sorts for the bears in the area. When one of the cubs is left behind, it will let out a cry of distress, and its sibling will respond by going back. The cubs also help each other navigate; if one has trouble climbing down a rocky slope, the other will go back and offer instruction, guiding its sibling the whole way down. Ben also conducts little experiments with the cubs: At one point he leaves a mirror in their pen and observes their highly interesting reactions.

Reading about Ben's cubs, the reader becomes invested in their future, rooting for them to make it safely into adulthood and beyond. We are being given a special insight into the lives and personalities of these subtle creatures. The author's decision to write about his experiences has helped to break down some of the myths about bears and to show us how intricately connected everything in nature is. This book makes for a wonderful and enlightening read. (Stephanie Clark)

From the Publisher
"Compelling . . . [Kilham's stories] paint a vivid picture of ursine social life and intelligence."—The New York Times Book Review

"Among the Bears is the best book I have read about these subtle and intriguing creatures."—George B. Schaller, Wildlife Conservation Society

"Engrossing . . . both an affecting story of interspecies friendship and a surprising refutation of ursine stereotypes. This important book is sure to be a milestone in the study of animal behavior."—Publishers Weekly

Marc Hauser
Among the Bears provides the first in-depth discussion of what it is like to be a bear. It is a passionate account told by Ben Kilham,a naturalist who has dedicated a lifetime to understanding what makes bears tick. After reading this book,you will never again think of bears in the same way. Yes,they are greedy and cute,but they are also much, much more.
Sy Montgomery
A riveting story by a maverick researcher. This important book will challenge your notions of how animals think,how young mammals learn,and the ways in which bears and people see the world. Ben Kilham's humble and clear-eyed view of these highly intelligent animals,at once so like humans and yet so different,deserves a place beside Jane Goodall's studies of the chimpanzees of Gombe.
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
An absorbing, often searing account of one of the world's most interesting animals,this wonderfully comprehensive account is a fitting tribute to the black bear, and also to its author,Ben Kilham, for his insight and dedication.
George B. Schaller
Among the Bears is the best book I have read about these subtle and intriguing creatures. It shows how even an amateur naturalist with empathy,dedication, and acute observation can obtain important and illuminating insights into the life of a species that seemed well known.
Publishers Weekly
Like any expectant parent, naturalist Kilham anticipated challenges in raising the newborns who joined his family in 1993. But as the "mother" to orphaned black bear twin cubs, he had no Dr. Spock to turn to for advice. A licensed wildlife rehabilitator, Kilham wanted to raise the cubs to live successfully in the wild, but had to rely largely on his own common sense to achieve this goal. So he let the cubs teach him, by closely observing and noting their behavior as they rambled together in New Hampshire's northern woods. This engrossing account, which Kilham wrote with the help of naturalist writer Gray, is both an affecting story of interspecies friendship and a surprising refutation of ursine stereotypes. To date, Kilham has raised 26 black bears; the experience has convinced him that, contrary to popular belief, these large carnivores are highly social and are as intelligent as the great apes; they can teach, learn and even deceive. Black bears, Kilham insists, can be "remorseful, empathetic, fearful, selfish, altruistic, joyful and deceitful" and have developed "mechanisms for solving disputes and demonstrating need." With the human population encroaching ever deeper into bear territory, however, human ignorance can create "problem" bears who raid backyard bird feeders or garbage cans. Having lost several of his young bears to bullets from such property owners, Kilham urges people to attempt a better understanding of an animal he finds "closely related" to humans. This important book is sure to be a milestone in the study of animal behavior. 8-page color insert not seen by PW. National author tour. (Mar. 6) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An intuitive appreciation of young bear behavior, observed and gathered at ground level, from wildlife rehabilitator Kilham. The New Hampshire state wildlife department asked Kilham to adopt a couple of bear cubs six years ago. His work with those cubs, and a selection of other cubs from more recent vintages, are chronicled here. Kilham doesn't pose as an expert, and his writing is of the unvarnished variety, but he quickly and easily establishes himself as an observant individual who makes sensible comments upon the vast amount of fieldwork he has done. His plan was to "raise the cubs in as natural a set of circumstances as possible," so that they might return to the wild. He frames this narrative as a story of their days together, he and the cubs, and lets the information slowly accrue before attempting any conjectures on the bears' behavior. He forms a very close bond with the cubs, but there is always that unpredictable quality to the bears that reminds Kilham and reader alike that these are wild creatures and that the ground we share is shaky with potential misunderstandings and palpable consequences. Kilham has got opinions about such traits as altruism ("thought by many to be solely a human trait," but regarded by just as many as an established animal behavior), self-recognition, the use of tools, as well as everyday survival behavior such as food finding, all buttressed by copious direct observation. He has even discovered an organ in the bear's mouth, "probably to be known as the Kilham organ," used to identify plant chemistry. Where he really shines, though, is in bear-sound interpretation, including a glossary of sounds from moans to "eh-eh" to "huh, huh, huh, huh, huh,"something you ought never hope to hear. The kind of primary research that leads to those rare insights that come to be known as understanding. (8-page color insert, not seen) Author tour
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805073003
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/5/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Benjamin Kilham is a woodsman and naturalist who over the past twenty-five years has discovered and then field-tested a new, exciting wildlife biology. Ed Gray is a naturalist writer and founder of Gray's Sporting Journal. They both live in Lyme, New Hampshire.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Among the Bears:

Because we had two females this time we needed names to distinguish them. We named one Curls for the curly hair on her forehead; the other, who was smaller, became Squirty. The boy we left at that—The Boy. Almost immediately they began to show not only their physically distinguishing marks, but their personalities as well. Within a month, while the cubs were still upstairs, The Boy began escaping from the pen and letting loose with a series of distress calls as soon as he found himself separated from his sisters, who would then try to join him. Already he was showing himself to be the explorer of the group.

One of the immediate differences I could see between raising these new cubs and the first two was that I could now recognize their behaviors as they developed. Whenever they were scared, either by a sound or a smell, they would "tree" to the highest pillow on the bed or on me if I were with them, all the way up to my head and shoulders. They suckled my ears and fingers and wrestled to bond with each other and with me. In my case they wrestled with my hand, but I knew what it meant. Even today—in her sixth year and at times well over two hundred pounds—when I meet her in the woods every spring, Squirty and I wrestle to get reaquainted.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Chapter 1 The First Cubs 1
Chapter 2 The First Walks 10
Chapter 3 The Beginnings of an Education 15
Chapter 4 Delicacies, van Gogh, and a Dark Cloud 27
Chapter 5 Impossible Lessons and the Fabric of Learning 34
Chapter 6 Summertime, and the Living Is Easy 39
Chapter 7 Nature's Bounty and a Long Walk Home 48
Chapter 8 Mysteries, Gunfire, and the Escape Artist 58
Chapter 9 Bear Hunters and Late-Night Dining 67
Chapter 10 Slowing Down 74
Chapter 11 To Den, Finally 81
Chapter 12 Time to Think 87
Chapter 13 A New Year in March 91
Chapter 14 A Very Difficult Month 104
Chapter 15 Moving On 119
Chapter 16 Between the Bears 133
Chapter 17 The Triplets Arrive 138
Chapter 18 Public Notice 166
Chapter 19 The Triplets Grow Up 169
Chapter 20 Squirty Stays Close 189
Chapter 21 Squirty Has Cubs 197
Chapter 22 The Moose Mountain Cubs 207
Chapter 23 Squirty's Dynasty Begins 211
Chapter 24 Confrontation and Resolution 214
Chapter 25 Bears in the Backyard 226
Chapter 26 What Is It About a Bear? 246
Epilogue 275
Acknowledgments 277
Index 279
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)