Monday, March 15, 2010


I first became aware of Timothy Treadwell by reading a short story on him in Reader's Digest, after his death. His death was horrific, one akin to being attacked by a shark only his was to be eaten by bears, along with his girlfriend. Apparently he had acquired some fame with his features on Animal Planet's, "Grizzly Man Diaries" as well as guest spots periodically on a National level. He had gained quite a following among Conservation extremists but he also received a lot of criticism from reputable Conservationsists for his unorthodoxed behaviors.

I purchased this book when we were in Glacier National Park on our 2005 Summer visit. It was a very good read, holding my interest the entire time. Subsequently, Werner Herzog made a movie about Treadwell titled, "Grizzly Man". For the first time, I saw the extraordinary film footage that Treadwell had recorded of the Brown Bears that he loved and adored and ultimately lost his life to. Regardless of how exquisite the footage is of rare and never before seen behaviors, the guy completely crossed the line in my opinion!

I believe from information that the author gives, Treadwell had some real mental issues. As a child he showed the classic symptoms of ADHD and Dyslexia. As an adult he delved into depression, alcohol and drugs. To his credit, discovering his passion for the Grizzlies was the way he overcame those dependencies. Sadly, the adreneline rush he got from his bear encounters replaced it. I wonder if as an adult, he would've been diagnosed as Bi-Polar? Undiagnosed and untreated (this Bi-Polar theory of mine) would've driven him to outrageous and unacceptable behavior that goes beyond common sense.

A very informative and well-done book!

From the back cover:
"On the afternoon of Sunday, October 5, 2003, in Alaska's Katmai National Park, one or more brown bears killed and ate Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard. The next day, park rangers investigating the site shot and killed two bears that threatened them; it was later determined that one of the bears had human flesh and clothing in its stomach.
This chilling story immediately captured worldwide media attention, not only because of the horrific manner of Timothy and Amie's deaths, but also because Timothy was a well-known wildlife celebrity. His films of close-up encounters with grizzly bears – he spent more than a dozen summers living with and videotaping giant bears in the Alaskan bush – were the subject of television talk shows, movies, and books.
But his work was not without controversy, and some bear experts felt that Treadwell's fatal encounter was a tragedy waiting to happen – the result of the unorthodox tactics he used in his life among the bears.
Death in the Grizzly Maze is the compelling account of Treadwell's intense life and dramatic death. Author Mike Lapinski chronicles Treadwell's rise from self-described alcoholic loser to popular grizzly-bear advocate. Lapinski explores how a waiter from Malibu, California, with no background in biology or wildlife science, came to be considered a bear expert. And he reveals the high cost of the current craze for wildlife celebrities – and what it means for the future of wildlife conservation."

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