Grizzly Man

Within the last wild lands of North America dwells an animal that inspires respect and fear around the world. It is the grizzly bear, a living legend of the wilderness. Grizzlies can sprint thirty five plus miles an hour, smell carrion at nine or more miles, and drag a thousand-pund animal up steep mountains. The grizzly bear is one of a very few animals remaining on earth that can kill a human in physical combat. It can decapitate with a single swipe, or grotesquely disfigure a person in rapid order. Within the last wilderness areas where they dwell, they are the undisputed king of all beasts. I know this all very well. My name is Timothy Treadwell, and I live with the wild grizzly.

So begins Treadwell’s Among Grizzlies, released in 1997 after eight years of living with bears in western Alaska. Six years later, on October 5, 2003, Treadwell was killed in Katmai National Park‘s Kaflia Bay — called “The Maze” because of the network of trails made by one of the densest populations of grizzlies in the world. An AP report from October 8th was the first nationwide news of Treadwell’s death, but it doesn’t benefit from the wealth of photos, video, and audio records he left behind. Lynn Rogers’ personal telling of the story includes details from the audio recording made during the bear attack in which he and his friend, Amie Huguenard perished.

Filmmaker Werner Herzog’s, Grizzly Man, a documentary of Treadwell’s work with the grizzlies, including rich use of Treadwell’s own video, opens in LA and NYC on August 12. Herzog appeared in interviews on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday and Fresh Air.

A previous story about Alaskan bear attacks remains among the most popular here. Though Herzog’s movie is sure to represent the rich complexity of the characters, I’m also sure it will touch the morbid interests of a few.

Update: vicarious Grizzly Man movie review.
alaska, bear, bear attack, bear attacks, bears, film, grizzlies, grizzly attack, grizzly bear, grizzly bears, grizzly man, grizzly people, katmai national park, obidos, timothy treadwell, treadwell, wilderness

1,601 thoughts on “Grizzly Man

  1. That picture Sabrina posted was for Vicky (YNP4me) who Sabrina had just chastised for bringing up Terry Rubbert’s hyprocrisy on the other thread. It was Sabrina’s way of saying “screw you” to Vicky.

  2. Well, the conversation between Sabrina and None got very interesting because as soon as Sabrina noticed she was losing, due to lack of knowledge on her part, then she tried to make nice with None. It’s really amazing when you think about it how much the story behind Treadwell spun out of control. The sad thing is that people, including myself, never heard of him before, until he died and “Grizzly Man” was released. So that goes to show you he didn’t really put a dent in making a name for himself on behalf of bear conservation. So he wrote a book. Was it a best seller? The NPS in Katmai were the only ones very familiar with him, and they wish they saw less of him. Dexter was a major thorn in their side.

  3. I found the photo of the lady looking intently at the bear scat very odd. Is it some sort of joke on Dexter? You know the bear scat infatuation thing?

  4. One of the funniest post I saw from Sabrina was when she tried to defend Treadwell acting like a bear. She came up with a bunch of mumbo jumbo about Indian lore and all kinds of nutty stuff. If you noticed, she told Vicky her “aura” was damaged over at the Yellowstone link.

  5. Sabrina has all kinds of pictures over at Paths. Tim and Terry Rubbert, Charlie Russell, etc. And of course there are many pitures of her as well.

    Back when I was reading Frizzen Sparks, I got an Email from a friend who told me Sabrina had been in a couple of B movies a while back. I forget the names, but he said there was some information about them on the internet. I never dug it up.

  6. Oh well, Sabrina can continue her obsessive behavior. What ever makes her happy. As long as she feels there is an actual need for her obsession then she can continue to waste her time.
    I’m wondering if Jim Cole’s eyesite will ever be the same or close to what it was. It’s ironic he declined any media interviews though. At least that is what the article said. It’s a shame that Sow he was following didn’t like the way he parted his hair. But, if he wasn’t trying to get to close, she may not have even noticed.

  7. As for myself, I have no desire to walk with the bears. I enjoy wildlife and respect it. I know last year there were several stories of black bear incidents. I am amazed when I viewed the documentary of “Growing up Grizzly”. The Seus family who lives in Utah and started Vital Ground to help perserve habitats for wild bears. Bart the bear was Ginormous. Doug and Lynn Seus claim to do a lot for Grizzlies. Well, and the Grizzlies have done a lot for them, like pay for their land, send their daughter to college. I don’t agree with training bears to do tricks. Although their bears seem to be happy and healthy. I’m afraid one day we will hear on the news that Doug Seus was mauled by one of his bears. I think in a big way the Seus family has exploited wild bears as well. After all, they make a living from these animals who have starred in several movies and commercials.

  8. Well, I hope Cole will fully recover, but I think it’s high time people quit taking him seriously. No more books, no more lectures . . . just fade away Jim.

    And if Sabrina doesn’t get with the program, she’s going to end up just like Cole. All these people she thinks are bear experts are proving themselves to be what they really are . . . wannabes. That’s exactly what Dave Smith was trying to tell Sabrina and Terry Rubbert about Jim Cole and Tim Rubbert. I guess he found out trying to tell Sabrina anything is like talking to a dead plant. She’s so far into new age nonsense, she can never return to reality.

    As for Seus, I don’t know . . . the bears he raises were orphans that would have otherwise died. However, there are some folks who have raised grizzly bears and returned them to the wild.

  9. That’s what I would like to see is the orphaned grizzly cubs returned to the wild. It’s kind of a catch 22. I takes a lot of money to raise a bear. I can see how they would need to enable themselves the funding to do what they do. And movies, commercials provide them with the monetary ability to do just that. However I still would like them to be able to raze orphan cubs and return them to their natural habitat. I do believe they sincerely love those bears and at least they are investing money they’ve earned into their foundation “Vital Ground”. Which is more than what “Grizzly People” has claimed to have been doing.

  10. The Montana State Department of Fish And Wildlife is advising golfers to take extra precautions and be on the alert for “Bears” while playing Gallatin, Helena, and Clark National Forest Golf Courses. The advice to
    golfer is to; “Wear noise-producing devices, such as bells on the clothing to alert, but not to startle the bears unexpectedly.” They also advise you to carry pepper spray in the case of an encounter with a
    bear. It is also a good idea to watch for signs of bear activity. Golfers should be able to recognize the difference between Black Bear and Grizzly Bear droppings on the golf course. Black Bear droppings are smaller and
    contain berries and possibly squirrel fur. Grizzly Bear droppings have bells in them and smell like pepper spray.

  11. LMAO!!! Good one AM!
    I haven’t heard that one before.
    After reading some of the forum’s at YNP I’d like to know how the hell Jim Cole can sell books when he doesn’t even follow his own damn rules? And he’s no expert by any means. And some people say they’ve witnessed him sneaking into the brush. Like he’s been told before but doesn’t want to get caught. I’m like many others, I don’t like seeing people get hurt or killed, but what the hell. Sooner or later it’s going to happen if you keep acting like a dumb ass. YOu play with fire, sooner or later you’re getting burned.

  12. Although I’ve heard it before, I like that joke. Obviously, that’s because my “aura” must is damaged.

    In New Age psychobabble this means I’m few Chakras short of having a healthy aura. (Chakras are multi-colored soul vibrations radiating from one’s being.)

    For telling that joke, I think your aura is damaged, too, AM. To fix this, all you have to do is say, “bears are harmless party animals” out loud over and over until your missing chakras are replaced.

    See Sabrina for more details.

  13. Mitch, Jim Cole comes from the school of barroom biology. You need no formal training, just trek into the bush and observe bears. You will learn everything you need to know via osmosis.

    It like reinventing the wheel. Who cares about the body of knowledge already assembled by competent professionals.

    Did you read that second thread where Dave Smith tries to make Terry Rubbert and Sabrina understand Jim Cole didn’t know what the hell he was talking about? It reveals the kind of thinking that goes on here with these folks. These are the very same people who will tell you Treadwell was protecting bears from poachers in Katmai National Park.

    But what do I know . . . my aura is damaged.

  14. Mitch,

    Cole advocates making noise to warn bears of your presence. But how do you get pictures of a sow with cubs if you’re making noise that will scare them away? The answer is you don’t make noise if you want a close up picture. That’s why he violates his own safety recommendations.

  15. Mitch,
    Another factoid that might interest you is this. Treadwell (Dexter), made pamplets that had a picture of a tour guide on the front cover that he actually knew very well, A TOUR GUIDE, only Dexter lied and said it was a poacher in order to sell himself and his so called abilities to fend off poachers. He got in trouble for that, was forced to destroy all the pamplets and appologize to the tour guide. NEVER had Dexter ever produced evidence of “real” poachers. That my friend shows you what a hoax or Charlatan he really was. And Sabrina and friends still were believing Dexter’s little fantasy. They simply refuse to acknowledge the truth. I’m not sure just how many Chakras it takes to come back to reality and face the truth. But it seems to me Sabrina has been smoking her Chakras.

  16. Hopefully this will give you some insight as to what you’re dealing with regarding Sabrina. Reasoning with her is like talking to a wall. Just by observing her website it doesn’t take much time to figure she does have a sick infatuation with Dexter. I think she’s still trying to get into his soul and become him, only in female form. Well, actually I think Dexter kind of had the same fantasy. Maybe his Chakras were the same color as Sabrina’s Chakras, if you know what I mean.

  17. LOL!
    All I know is that boy was one sick puppy. And I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind finding him to be an object of admiration. And I certainly can’t imagine someone being stupid enough to follow a damn Grizz around as if they were following Yogi Bear or something. These are fucking wild animals. Follow the rules and respect them from a distance. Sounds like this Jim Cole was becoming increasingly as cocky as the Treadwell guy.

  18. Oh Get Real,
    All your points are good. And it is possible to get a real close up of anything with out getting to damn close. It’s called a special lens. I’ve seen people out in the field that have several diff. lens. Wildlife photographers usually have a lens that allows them to get the shot, but not get to close for safety. Am I right?
    So my question is why didn’t this Cole guy have the proper equipment if he’s a “real” expert?

  19. Oh Get REal,
    My Aura was damaged long ago when I first started posting here. I’ve never agreed with Sabrina. If her Chakras are multi-colored, maybe that’s from her smoking to much weed or something. If you compare reality to a box, Sabrina’s thinking is outside the box. Dexter on the other hand had to many multi-colored Chakras, but that was from all the over-dosing. Bottom line is no matter what the condition of your Aura, it’s not going to save you from a Grizzly attacking and killing or injuring you if you keep pushing the envelope. Jim Cole wants to go back after he recovers? I just hope he learns from this and follows proper safety procedures or he may end up inside the box six feet under, Chakras and all.

  20. Mitch,

    As I understand it, using a camera with a telephoto lens produces a more grainy picture. The smaller the lens the better the quality of the picture. This is true of regular film. (How this works with digital equipment I don’t know.)

    Cole’s goal was to document the lives of grizzlies in their natural habitat. He needed to get pictures of bears that had little or no contact with humans. So that explains his methods.

    Of course none of this makes sense. It’s not like there isn’t an entire body of science on the lives of grizzlies. It’s not like there aren’t about eleventeen million bear pictures in the world. It’s not like Jim Cole was contributing anything. The truth is all of this was for Jim Cole, not for bears.

    All of these people follow a different drummer. Each has their own reasons for what they believe. None of them make any sense. Treadwell believed that a new personal relationship between humans and bears could be established, one of mutual understanding and trust. Exactly what Jim Cole believes I don’t know, but he did tell a group of people at one of his lectures (sponsored by the Sierra Club) that bears view human differently than other animals view humans. As Vicky said, Cole didn’t elaborate, so exactly how far into all this New Age jive Cole is remains unclear. However, we do know Sabrina has one strange aura.

  21. AM, if the rest of your friends check in here for a visit, at least they will have something to read. Maybe they will find it interesting.

  22. Oh get Real,
    Well, I found it interesting just chatting with you. I think you may have redeemed your Aura. Actually, I never found anything wrong with your Aura in the first place. LOL!

  23. There’s a wildlife documentary on Satelite where this woman and man go into isolated areas and look for the perfect shot, camera shot that is. And he has a wicked, I mean a wicked tele-photo lense. It must weigh 20 lbs. But it took some unbelievable photos from a distance and yet it looked as though you were right in the animals face.

  24. Indeed you can get some very good quality pictures using telephoto lens, but it is more difficult. First, large lens are usually mounted on tripods to keep the camera still. Hand holding a lens that size is very difficult. Even a heart beat can blur a picture.

    Then there is the problem of the animal moving. It’s more difficult to keep a moving animal in your view finder with a large lens on a tripod.

    Then there is the problem of surface heat distorting the picture. You often see that on TV with videos shot from distance . . . it makes the shot waving due to the rising heat.

    Then there is the problem of light . . . a small lens can function is less light, so early in the morning or late in the day a small lens is more functional.

    Then there is the price. Large lens of any quality cost megabucks.

    Of course, there is the problem of carrying and setting up a large lens in the back country.

    And of course, in Coles case he just wanted to get close to bears to study them . . . or so the story goes.

  25. I think Sabrina just got some new camera equipment. Maybe you could Email her and see if she plans to capture a bear’s aura on film. (I’m assuming that bear’s have auras . . . Sabrina will know.)

    :)

  26. I agree with wisconsin

    As I watched the movie, it became clear to me that this man was disturbed. He ment well, I’m sure, but a person who claims to be interrested in animals of any kind, should know better. I do not judge him. I feel sorry for him, his motive may have been to escape something that nobody knows, but he paid the price, and his angered moments on camara and reminding us that ONLY he made it, giving info to children for free!! and if there is a God, bring rain?? I feel sorry for him, admire his extreme way of dealling with his problems, but he was a fool. And paid a terrible price.

    Im from South Africa, even though I feel STRONGLY against poaching of lions, I cannot go and live amongst them, like other said, animals dont feel of think like us. There are other ways to protect animals. He wasn’t a bad person.. but he was wrong.

    To his parents: Something was wrong with him, somebody hurt him, somewhere along his life, somebody hurt him or took something away. He was sad and angered. This was the way he delt with it…

    And yes, poaching these animals are wrong..and in my language:

    “Jy sal die prys betaal vir elke dier wat jy doodmaak, jy sal sien – aan elke persoon wat ‘n beer doodskiet vir plesier”

    Daar kom altyd ‘n dag…

  27. Aunt M

    Guess who, it is so good too see your still here, i did check back a few times but there was no activity so it has been a long while since i posted. I just happened to think about Dexter and logged back on to this site thinking by chance i might find my Bear loving freinds and there you are. I have not heard hide nor hare as we say in Texas of Remmy maybe she will see our postings and come back to see us. I saw a good documentary on Discovery the other day about Yellowstone Park Bears and their continued unwanted intrusion to their fellow human park inhabitants…very sad they are starting to youthinize the Bears that get to close to people…got to go

  28. SOME OF YOU MAY REMEMBER THE BAND IN THE 70’S PLAYER, SING THIS SONG WITH THE TUNE”BABY COME BACK”

    ALL DAY LONG PLAYING WITH ALL MY GRIZZLY FRIENDS,.. TRYING TO MAKE YOU BELIEVE I SHOULD BE HERE HERE…..
    BUT WHEN THAT MORNING CAME AND THE BEAR DRUG ME OUT OF THE TENT,… HOW I WISHED TO GOD I DIDN’T CAMP HERE….

    GRIZZLY COME BACK ANY KIND OF CAMPER COULD SEE THERE WAS SOMETHING THAT YOU DID’NT LIKE ABOUT ME……
    GRIZZLY COME BACK, YOU CAN BLAME IT ALL ON ME…I WAS BLIND AND I JUST CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU.

    TKO…back in the house.

  29. Very good TKO,

    Glad to see you’re back in the house again. I’m sure Jim Cole would find that song amusing. I haven’t heard much about how the guy is doing. But he’s anxious to get better so he can return to his passion, harassing bears with cameras shoved in their faces.
    And yes I remember that song.

  30. AM,

    Apparently, he’s doing well. He’s been back in surgery at least once. They say it will take several more surgeries to fix the damage.

  31. Does anyone know if Leonardo DiCaprio has abandoned his film project on Treadwell? I heard he had second thoughts after finding out the real truth about Treadwell.

  32. hi timmy

    yes, it appears dicaprio shelved the project. i heard the same thing about treadwell. i heard there is new information coming out involving illegal activities. very damning. there is also something about an affair with one of his supporters that will be revealed soon. how true this is i do not know.

  33. Well, that depends on what you call inappropriate, but yes, some of his activities with children were not proper.

    You might also note there were rumors of illegal drugs while he was in Katmai. My source tells me that Treadwell wasn’t all he appeared to be at all.

  34. First I would like to say that these bears were on a national park. They were already protected by the government. All I can say is that Timothy Treadwell was truly a demented individual who really got what he deserved. He should have had more respect for the grizzly. What a true fucking asshole.

  35. He did NOT show the world what these bears are like; other than when he was killed and eaten. What he did is cause them to lose their “fear” of humans, setting them up to be killed, or worse yet, causing them to kill other humans.
    I certainly am not happy that he and his girlfriend were killed; but he was wrong in his beliefs about these bears. While he might have gotten some beautiful footage, I don’t think he taught people the truth about these animals.
    He should have been removed and banned from the park years earlier, when he refuse to follow the rules that are in place to protect bears as well as humans. Not only did he get himself and his girlfriend killed, but may have set the stage for some other fool to get killed trying to “pet” bears and other such nonsense they saw him do. In the end, he also caused the death of two of the very bears he claimed to want to protect; and he proved the sayings about bears that are used to humans always end up as dead bears.

  36. I just saw the documentary for Tim 1/20 – 1/21/08 in the wee hours of the morning. I was deeply disturbed by Tim’s chances that he took with natures most feared animals. I truly believe in his heart he wanted the best for the Grizzly’s an that is commendable. I only wished there was a person(s) that could have better influenced him in his endeavors. It was such a shame to loose him for what I am sure many feel very risky chances getting so close and almost tempting faith. I was deeply moved by the show last night and have found myself thinking of him and wishing I could have helped him stay alive to bring more of his talents to the world.

    I am sure Tim is looking down and is very please that so many morn and appreciate his work.

    Tim Tredwell I never met you but I would have been proud to have..

  37. I just watched the movie and the whole time i was waiting to see or hear the attack of witch ended timmoty and amies life.It was very disappointing.

  38. It has been awhile since i have posted i just checked back to see what was up. I would like to open a new subject for whosoever will, it is concerning a movie i just watched called Into the Wild. I wonder if anybody has a comment about this Chris McCandless guy who got himself killed near the Denali National Forest in Alaska.

  39. Let’s see . . . Chris McCandless . . . what can one say? Intelligent but eccentric. Definitely bright, but not very smart. Survival skills are learned from others . . . not figured out along the way in some lame personal test pitting yourself against the wilderness.

    McCandless had narrowly survived one other of these personal test. Why he wanted to keep doing this is beyond reason. The sad part is that he could have easily survived by just knowing there was a cabin 6 miles upstream from the bus. There he would have found food and shelter. Or, by just finding a braided crossing in the river, he could have walked out. McCandless died because of his gross ignorance . . . not much of a grand adventure in my opinion.

  40. I just finished watching the Grizzly Man with Timothy Treadwell. I fail to see what he did to benefit the bears…also I am still trying to figure out what made him an expert! Was he an expert because he was the only one there? This movie was shown to a group of high school students and the general opinion was…He was an idiot. The movie was a waste of money. We were expecting to see an informational video and instead we saw the crazy man and listened to his idiotic ramblings and profanity. If he was such a nature lover then he would’ve known that flies will land on dead animals…its the course of nature!

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