Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Bear Whisperer

In the BBC film Bearwalker of the Northwoods, set to air in Scotland tonight, lucky viewers will get to see how wildlife biologist Lynn Rogers' decision to replace traditional scientific methods with good ol' fashioned relationship building paid off and got him into the intimate inner circle of mother bear June and her three little cubs. Believe it or not, cornering them and shooting them with tranquilizers isn't the best method. The film, which was filmed in Minnesota, USA has got to be available here in the US soon, right? From The Guardian article:

"...Rogers eventually realised he couldn't hope to know bears unless he won their trust. And so he abandoned scientific detachment and took the daring and controversial step of forming relationships with his study animals, using food to gain acceptance among an extended bear family in Minnesota.

Gaining the trust of the bears has given him a close-up insight into their behaviour and social organisation as well as allowing Rogers to explode myths about them. Contrary to popular belief, for example, he contends that the bears are not violent and do not like honey..."

I have to say, it boggles my mind that Rogers' methods are considered controversial. But I suppose if popular belief holds that bears are cuddly honey lovers with piglet sidekicks one minute and violent campground attackers the next, it's about time somebody made a film highlighting their simple, animal awesomeness. I hope they are still fighting the good fight against forest fires. And wearing grass skirts as they teach young orphans the ways of the jumgle.And making porridge.

(thnx Singleton)

No comments: