About the Book
A lavishly illustrated book that explores the complex behavioural characteristics of North America’s largest land carnivores by examining the bear–human relationship from the bear’s perspective.
From the first moment Sarah Elmeligi came eye to eye with a grizzly bear, her life changed. In a moment that lasted mere seconds, she began to question everything she thought she knew about bears. How could this docile creature be the same one with a fearsome reputation for vicious attacks? Through years of research, Elmeligi grew to appreciate that bears are so much more than data points, stunning photos, and sensational online stories. Elmeligi expertly weaves the science of bear behaviour with her passionate account of personal encounters. Dive into the life of a bear biologist as Sarah’s colleagues recount their own “stories from the field” – intimate moments with bears where they were connected to an animal with personality, decision-making capabilities, and a host of engaging behaviours.
Join Elmeligi and Marriott on a journey that examines and shares the behaviour of black, grizzly, and polar bears in North America in a way you’ve never seen before. What Bears Teach Us will surprise you, inspire you, foster your curiosity, and teach you something new about bears and maybe even yourself.
“Renewal is a foundational paradigm in the Blackfoot thought world. Renewal teaches us that we humans live in a very narrow spectrum of ideal conditions for our existence. Changing those ideal conditions may mean the disappearance of Homo sapiens, not unlike the disappearance of our Neanderthal relatives. Consequently, in Blackfoot thought we have to maintain those conditions that make for our existence if we want to survive far into the future. What can Bears teach us? Bears are generalists who help to maintain and renew those conditions that make for our continuing survival. This book, What Bears Teach Us, is a fantastic teaching resource about what we can learn from ‘all my relations,’ and in this case the Bear, about the environment and ecological balance that will bring about ideal conditions for our continuing survival.”—Leroy Little Bear, Blackfoot researcher and professor emeritus at the University of Lethbridge
“John Marriott and Sarah Elmeligi have teamed up on a great guide to the inner life of bears as they eke out an existence in our increasingly human-dominated world. The photographs of bears in the wild and on our streets are remarkable, and Sarah’s essay explores the nuances of bear behavior and the need for us humans to better understand how we interact with these largely harmless bruins. A great gift for anyone who lives or recreates in bear country.”—Jeff Gailus, award-winning environmental journalist, adjunct professor at the University of Montana and author of The Grizzly Manifesto
“We can all learn from the wisdom of bears. Our ancestors knew this, like Native peoples today. Sarah Elmeligi and John Marriott show us, in gorgeous photos and engaging words, the wisdom that scientists have gathered about bears. ‘Managing bears is about managing people.’ The book guides us in learning how to coexist safely, instead of risking both human and bear lives. Both educational and inspirational, this is a book to cozy up with! As more of these amazing creatures are finding their way through my neighborhood, I’m planning to get a few extra copies for my friends.”—Darcia Narvaez, professor emerita of psychology, author of Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture, and Wisdom