All Education Articles
If you’ve been watching the news this week you no doubt came across the report of a bear attack near Timmins, Ontario resulting in serious injuries to a 30-year old man, the death of his dog, and the resulting death of the bear. The story is horrible as it is rare and we’re thankful the story didn’t end with the man’s funeral.
As an advocacy group for bears it is difficult for us to hear these stories and they remind us of how important our role of educating people in bear country is to the peaceful co-existence of humans and bears. At the Get Bear Smart Society we believe humans and bears can safely and respectfully coexist and we also believe it takes some intentionality.
Don’t underestimate the power of your story. And remember…. the public responds to individuals; they have trouble relating to populations. Even broad and generic terms are difficult to relate to. It’s better to promote your cause through the life and challenges of one bear, who has a name, a family, friends, alliances, rivals and things to do each day. Because bears are actually not that unlike us. Find the similarities and invite people to become a part of their lives.
Whether you're an educator, resident, scientist or wildlife officer, as someone who cares about bears, it's your job to spread the bear smart word - choosing your words carefully. Words are powerful. They can find their way deep into the very fabric of our being and belief systems, shaping our thoughts and actions. Words influence our perceptions and affect attitudes. They can inspire and encourage the right behaviour; or hinder and create apathy and inaction.
As part of journalism’s commitment to truth and justice by providing a diversity of relevant points of view, journalists have an obligation to provide the perspective of nonhuman animals in everyday stories that influence the animals’ and our lives. This essay provides justification and guidance on why and how this can be accomplished, recommending that, when writing about nonhuman animals or issues, journalists should: (1) observe, listen to, and communicate with animals and convey this information to audiences via detailed descriptions and audiovisual media, (2) interpret nonhuman animal behavior and communication to provide context and meaning, and (3) incorporate the animals’ stories and perspectives, and consider what is in their best interest. To fairly balance animal-industry sources and the anthropocentric biases that are traditionally inherent in news requires that journalists select less objectifying language and more appropriate human sources without a vested interest in how animals are used.
What in the world is happening to our planet and why? We live in a wounded world that is in dire need of healing. We all should be troubled and terrified by what we have done and continue to do. Humans have made huge and horrific global messes that need to be repaired now. The overriding sense of turmoil is apparent to anyone who takes the time to pay attention. Researchers and non-researchers alike are extremely concerned about unprecedented global losses of biodiversity and how humans suffer because of our destructive ways. We are animals and we should be proud and aware of our membership in the animal kingdom. However, our unique contribution to the decimation of the planet and its many life forms demeans us.
The authors believe that communication within and among agency personnel in the United States and Canada about the successes and failures of their human-bear (Ursidae) management programs will increase the effectiveness of these programs and of bear research. To communicate more effectively, they suggest agencies clearly define terms and concepts used in human-bear management and use them in a consistent manner. They constructed a human-bear management lexicon of terms and concepts using a modified Delphi method to provide a resource that facilitates more effective communication among human-bear management agencies.
An excerpt from a report about the effectiveness of the BC Bear Smart Community Program. It reveals some very important, and often overlooked issues. First of all, people have lost their connectedness to the ecosystem. They see themselves as "being above the ecosystem and not part of it." This disconnect between people and their natural environment and the wild animals they share it with has caused a general lack of empathy which has lead to an unwillingness to protect them. We must find ways to reconnect people to the animals we share the planet with, before we can expect them to do their part to save them.
Are you feeling devastated by the high number of bears getting killed, yet working with tireless determination to create a bear smart movement? Does it sometimes feel like an overwhelming task? A thankless job? Like you take one step forward and two backwards? Do you feel as though you may be developing compassion fatigue? Sometimes when compassion is a one-way street; you give all of your energy and compassion to helping a cause, and aren't able to get enough back to reassure yourself that the world is a hopeful place.
In the north woods of Minnesota, a black bear cub is born. It happens every January, and most of us would not give it a second thought. But this time thousands of people watched a wild bear give birth via a live streaming webcam. The bear's name is Lily. She is a research bear, and she has turned into an internet sensation. Thanks to author and artist Cindy Terry, Lily's story is now a delightful children's book. Filled with true facts about black bears, the story is about Lily and two small friends who stay in Lily's den for the winter as they wait for "the big event." They teach Lily about friendship while teaching the reader about bears.
De Pa Publishing's first title is a 28 page full color picture book. Easy reading or a read with; your child will love the adventures of the King Family as they go camping. Cheri and Michelle King meet up with the lost little cinnamon bear and the fun begins. He is a rascal and it takes the park ranger to sort it all out, but will the little lost cub find his mom...read to see what happens to "The Cinnamon Bear"
Recently, the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project (GBOP) team skyped Get Bear Smart to learn more about creating bear smart communities in Washington. I'm sure many of you have the same questions, so I thought I'd provide a summary of the conversation.
Today Lily, the black bear, gave birth live, in real time, for thousands of dedicated fans to watch courtesy of a den cam. The cam is broadcasting live from her den near Ely in Northeastern Minnesota, USA, less than 30 miles from the Canadian border. Since her Facebook page was created on January 8th, she has accumulated over 50,000 devoted, enthusiastic fans. Even I can't stay away from the site. I have a window open on my computer screen so I can keep track whenever I'm at my desk. I have to admit it's been a bit addictive, but undeniably fascinating.
This research project aimed to identify why communities struggle to meet the "Bear Smart" standards and to provide recommendations on how the managing agency can more effectively implement the program.
An unbeatable combination of incredible photography and thought-provoking writing makes A Whistler Bear Story a rare and magical journey into a world few people know.
Learn about what's happening at the Kootenays Bear Smart Chapter - volunteer opportunities; how to report bear sightings; Nelson's Fruit Tree Project and composting advice.
A delightful picture book for kids 9-12 who live in bear country.
Season of the Bear (Vol. 1 & 2) are entertaining and educational videos about black bears and how we can live with them.
Follow young Josh on his quest to write a story about black bears for his school newspaper. Sometimes funny, always informative, this program provides young viewers with what they need to know to live safely with black bears.
Sep 24, 2009 — Video: Bear Man
Look through a window into the lives of black bears with naturalist Ben Kilham, author of Among the Bears. Bear Man is the story of Ben Kilham's controversial methods of black bear behavioral research and rehabilitation.
Sep 24, 2009 — Video: Papa Bear
Join Ben Kilham as he explores the intricate lives of black bears Yoda and Squirty. The most illuminating journey ever filmed among wild black bears. 50 minutes.