My obsession with bears is 25 years deep, but I didn’t write about them for a long time. I had trouble seeing how I might. In fiction, the treatment of bears tends to be anthropomorphic (putting human characteristics on something that is not human). I wasn’t interested in doing that.
While I understand the desire to get into the mind of bear, it’s almost impossible to do as we only have our human senses to go on. The result is that we place our emotions onto the bears, so they become a sign from the spirit world, vengeful killers or a messenger to teach us a lesson. On the other hand, I would not want us to stop trying to understand bears either.
I wrote earlier about how Werner Herzog’s film, Grizzly Man, helped shake a few things loose.
I’m fascinated by anything that helps to bridge the gap between our world and that of a bear. The U.S. Geological Survey just released video footage that helps. It’s from a camera that is clipped to a collar, so shows us the world from a polar bear’s point of view. The purpose of the study is to learn about how polar bears are responding to sea ice loss.
As the research leader says in an AP report: “It’s all information that we wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.”