Reading a great bear book

The other day, I picked up a rather interesting book at Borders. The book is Among the Bears and is written by Benjamin Kilham and Ed Gray — though I get the impression that Gray’s contribution was more editorial while the bulk of the content is Kilham’s. It’s a fascinating story about Kilham’s experiences rehabilitating wildlife cubs near his New Hampshire home.

The book starts with the story of LG and LB (short for “Little Girl” and “Little Boy” respectively), two cubs whose mother abandoned them before they even left the natal den. LG and LB were the first bear cubs that Kilham is asked to care for. Kilham relates his experiences how he worked through the process with very little information to go on — and the looming knowledge that no one had yet managed to rehabilitate black bear cubs to the point of being able to successfully returning them to the wild. In the process, he makes some fascinating discoveries about black bear behavior and the development of cubs.

Currently, I’m only on chapter 5 and into Kilham’s first summer with LG and LB. So in the great scheme of things, I haven’t read but a small part of the story. I still have the rest of his experiences with LG and LB as well as the subsequent cubs he’s raised to read about. But if the rest of the book is like the chapters I’ve read so far — and I suspect there may be even bigger discoveries ahead — it will be a most interesting book.

As an aside, I’d like to point out the idiot who gave this book a bad review on Amazon. This is clearly a case of someone brainlessly adopting a cause without understanding the issues. Which is a shame, because it’s quite clear that they were so focused on their anti-hunting rhetoric that they missed an excellent opportunity to learn about the animals they claim to love.

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