Why Timothy Treadwell Deserved to be Attacked by a Grizzly Bear

546 Words3 Pages
This essay will discuss Statement 1 as given: "Treadwell was, I think, meaning well…Those bears are big and ferocious and they come equipped to kill you and eat you . . . He got what he deserved, in my opinion.” I am in agreement with this opinion. Treadwell acted foolishly, and the only surprising aspect of the result was that it took so long to happen.
Grizzly bears in their native habitat are wild animals. The bears (grizzlies, brown, and other varieties) found in Alaska are among the largest on earth. Grizzly-human interaction is best done minimally, if at all: the only reason that bears do not react as quickly as they might to humans (considering them prey) is that in their habitats, they have access to plenty of food and they do not
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In terms of the grizzly bear, its behavior is complex, but should never be mistaken as mimicking human behavior. Craighead, Sumner, and Mitchell (1995) note that in Yellowstone National Park, a prime laboratory for studying human-grizzly interactions, the relationship has been uneasy at best. They note that bears have a concept of “personal space” and that “a seemingly placid animal (male or female) can become awesomely aggressive and attack instantaneously.” (Craighead et al.149-150). Treadwell, as many Yellowstone visitors do, made the mistake that just because the bears were tolerating his presence at one time meant that they had made up their minds about him and would leave him alone. This was an error of anthropomorphism, as the bears were clearly not perceiving him the way another human would, i.e., as friend or foe; their lack of reaction to him didn’t mean that they saw him as a friend. This was a fairly stupid assumption for Treadwell to have made, particularly given his professed knowledge of and fascination with the bears.
Therefore, I am in agreement with the statement that Treadwell did not treat the bear-human relationship appropriately, i.e., by acknowledging that they were wild, unpredictable, and dangerous animals. He did indeed act as if the bears were “people wearing bear costumes,” as Sam Egli put it. It may have been fascinating and even spiritually uplifting

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