Bears, Bears, Bearsby Wayne Lynch
Photographer and science writer Wayne Lynch has dedicated more than a decade of his life to learning everything he can about these powerful mammals. In his quest for bears, he has crawled inside the winter dens of black bears and polar bears, held squirming grizzly cubs in his arms, sailed along the coastal rainforests of British Columbia, hiked the cloud forests… See more details below
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Photographer and science writer Wayne Lynch has dedicated more than a decade of his life to learning everything he can about these powerful mammals. In his quest for bears, he has crawled inside the winter dens of black bears and polar bears, held squirming grizzly cubs in his arms, sailed along the coastal rainforests of British Columbia, hiked the cloud forests of the Andes Mountains in South America and ridden elephants through the jungles of Nepal and India. In Bears, Bears, Bears, his engaging guide to the world's eight bear species, Lynch introduces us to the strange and wonderful natural histories of these magnificent wild animals.
Read an Excerpt
When I was a boy, I was terrified of bears. Every year, I spent the summer holidays helping my uncle on his dairy farm in southern Ontario. At that time, black bears still roamed the woods bordering the fields around the farm. Although I never saw a bear during those summers, I heard many stories that bolstered their savage reputation.
None of those stories, however, prepared me for the dread I felt when I finally saw my first wild bear. My family and I were picnicking beside a waterfall in northern Ontario. All afternoon, I had teased my parents and younger brother, insisting that I had seen a bear in the bushes. I urged them over and over again to come and see for themselves. I loved how excited they became, then I would laugh and tell them it was a joke.
Later, as I stood alone beside the river, the bushes on the far shore began to move. I couldn't believe my eyes when a big black bear stepped out into the open. I had never seen such a large animal. The bear strolled along the riverbank plucking blueberries from the bushes with its floppy lips. I was frozen in my tracks and too afraid to make a peep. I watched the bear for several minutes until it disappeared into the woods. Then I ran back to tell my family, but of course, no one believed me.
If a fortune teller had told me then that when I grew up, I would spend more than 10 years learning everything I could about bears -- reading each new book and article I could get my hands on, crawling inside the winter dens of black bears and polar bears, holding squirming grizzly cubs in my arms, and capturing on film black bears, brown bears and polar bears doing everything from fishing to fighting -- I never would have believed it. But that's exactly what happened
My search for these animals took me on an around-the-world odyssey. In the end, I would travel over 240,000 kilometers (150,000 mi), on four different continents. My quest for bears has given me some of the greatest experiences of my life, and along the way, I've learned a great deal about them. I no longer believe bears are bloodthirsty killers lurking in the woods waiting to attack anyone who comes along. Large, powerful animals that are capable of defending themselves tooth and claw, bears spend more time trying to avoid encounters with people than they do stalking and attacking them.
Like many fears, my childhood fear of bears was rooted in ignorance. The more I learn about bears, the less I fear them. In fact, today I am more frightened of the things that people can do to me than I am of bears.
The accomplished lecturer Helen Keller, who also happened to be dear and blind, said that "life can be a daring adventure or nothing at all." My search for bears made my life what I want it to be. In this book, I want to share with you some of the strange and wonderful facts I've been able to learn about the lives of bears, things that most people don't know. I want you to be thrilled, as I am, at the prospect of seeing a bear in the wild, and together, I hope we can work to protect these magnificent creatures and the wilderness they inhabit.
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