Grizzly Nut

Treadwell and grizzly bearLast weekend Laura went to see the new Tim Burton/Johnny Depp movie. She had been very anxious to see it, and she seems to have really enjoyed it. I am looking forward to seeing it one of these days myself. But today I heard about a movie I really want to see as soon as it comes out. I just listened to Scott Simon’s interview with Werner Herzog about his latest film Grizzly Man. He talks about how he found the story of Timothy Treadwell, the, uh, bear lover, who got eaten by grizzly bears in Alaska in October 2003. What a character and what a story! A new-age great-white-hunter who wants to hug the bears instead of shooting them. Yeah – until one of the bears hugged him back!

Treadwell’s story is a tragic, sad story. He was probably well-intentioned and he seems to have really loved these bears. But he had no sense and no respect for these dangerous animals. He also did set a bad example for other nature-lovers. One thing is clear: he is a fascinating character. No surprise that Herzog jumped on this project – a real-life Fitzcarraldo in Alaska with bears. I can’t wait to see this film when it comes out in mid-August.

This is how his supporters see Treadwell’s legacy:

In an interview with David Letterman, you saw a quick wit, returning each Letterman volley with panache, sparkle and a hint of an Australian accent. In a filmed scene of Timothy singing to a mother bear, flat on her back, with two cubs nursing on top of her, you imagined for a moment that she too enjoyed the song of gentleness. And you had no doubt that you were hearing a “bear whisperer.”
In Honor of Timothy Treadwell, Louisa Willcox, Grizzly People

Oh man – yeah, except that the “bear whisperer” did get eaten by a bear!

More on Treadwell:
Grizzly People – Treadwell’s non-profit organization
Newspaper story about Timothy Treadwell’s and Amie Huguenard’s deaths(pop-ups)
Story in Montana paper about the movie
Some of Treadwell’s grizzly pictures
More grizzly photos
[update: Information about Katmai National Park (NPS)]

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