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Bears: Without Fear [Paperback]

Kevin Van Tighem
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 13 2013

Fear of bears seems almost to be part of what it is to be human. Our species emerged out of the depths of time into a world already populated by these great carnivores. Before we mastered iron and later developed firearms, we had few defences against bears—only watchful caution and elaborate ceremonies and sacrifices to ward off fear.

Where human populations grow, bears have traditionally dwindled or disappeared. But when we return to the wild, to places where bears still survive, all our primeval fears awaken again. The risk of an automobile accident on the way to bear country far outstrips the risk of a close-range encounter with a bear, but it's the bear that worries us as we hurtle down the pavement at a hundred kilometres an hour.

In this timely and sensitive book, Kevin Van Tighem calls on decades of experience, knowledge and understanding in order to enlighten readers about our relationship with and attitude toward bears. Along the way we are confronted with the realities confronting these great animals as a result of our ever-expanding human population and their ever-shrinking natural habitat. Through historical research, field observation, practical advice, personal anecdotes and an array of stunning photos, Van Tighem has written a comprehensive book that is meant to demystify bears in order to promote a deeper understanding of these powerful yet vulnerable creatures.

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Product Description

About the Author

Kevin Van Tighem has studied wildlife and habitat in western Canada for almost 40 years. A naturalist and hunter, he has written more than 200 articles, stories and essays on conservation and wildlife which have garnered him many awards, including Western Magazine Awards, Outdoor Writers of Canada book and magazine awards and the Journey Award for Fiction. He has served on the executive committees of the Federation of Alberta Naturalists, Alberta Wilderness Association and Foothills Model Forest. His decades of work in landscape ecology, conservation biology and nature interpretation in the national parks of western Canada culminated in 2011 with his retirement as superintendent of Banff National Park. Kevin is the author of Bears: Without Fear (RMB, 2013). He lives in Canmore, Alberta.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 3 2014
Great book everyone should read, particularly those with not much outdoors experience.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent insights Jan. 11 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After hearing the author interviewed on CBC, I was glad to finally see the book for sale on Amazon. I purchased it for my daughter and boyfriend who had encountered a mother bear when wilderness camping. BEARS muted their fears and gave them intelligent, practical information for future trips.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to Bears' real lives, grizzly or black bear or... July 27 2013
By Peridot - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Take this moment to understand these magnificent and intelligent creatures and you will not fear them--you will be able to predict their behavior and adjust yours.

Van Tighem combines excellent research with vignettes from his and others' encounters with bears. Basic bear information is summarized in short tables as a supplement to the smooth flow of the prose. Myths about bears are confronted with reality--these are real people, real stories, with photographs and locations. I was thrilled to learn about Charlie Russell's research in Russia (Grizzly Heart, 2003), to see references to the Vital Ground Foundation and other bear and big-habitat focused organizations. Kevin Van Tighem could not be better qualified to ask for a change of attitude toward bears--he was superintendent of Banff National Park in Canada, and able to compare Canadian and U.S. Fish and Wildlife policies toward bears. His sister was mauled by a grizzly (The Bear's Embrace, 2001). "Bears Without Fear" will hold your attention, whether you discover it through an existing interest in bears and wildlife policies or just want a good read and don't mind learning a few things about bears--and our reactions to them. For instance, after describing being with a guided group hike that encountered an old grizzly on the trail (and went home all-excited with close-call stories), Van Tighem summarizes: "But what had happened, really?'

"A bear had tried to walk up Lineham Creek valley and found the valley full of people. That's all.

"Finding herself in a stressful situation, the bear figured out a solution to it and went on with her life. All the fear, adrenalin, excitement and frightful possibilities had been created in the minds of the people involved. If the circumstances had been different--if the encounter had taken place outside the protection of a park, perhaps--somebody might well have shot that bear and the story would be retold again and again of their narrow escape. Probably after a few iterations, the bear would have evolved into a raging, foaming-mouthed killer.

"That's what we do to bears..."

Enjoy the book. It's good.
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book! June 25 2014
By Mark Elliott Smith - Published on
Great primer on bears and living in bear country.
5.0 out of 5 stars Bear facts April 8 2014
By Nanook - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
very insightful very well written without being to scientific. I have read dozens of books about bears and bear behavior and this is one of the best I've read. The authors passion for bears and their future in this world is revealed in his writing and prose. Smartly written and filled with interesting facts.
5.0 out of 5 stars Bears: Without Fear March 23 2014
By Michele Chartier - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Kevin tells it like it is! Bears are NOT the dangerous animals people think they are. In fact they are very shy and timid creatures and deserve our respect. People and bears CAN learn to co-exist! Excellent read!!
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