All Things Wild

Black Bears Will Blow Your Mind! (with Benjamin Kilham)

September 07, 2022 Episode 45
All Things Wild
Black Bears Will Blow Your Mind! (with Benjamin Kilham)
Show Notes

Black bears have a very strong public image as lone roaming, dangerous and mindless eating machines -  here's something that will completely change the way you look at them!

Benjamin Kilham, author of In the Company of Bears: What Black Bears Have Taught Me about Intelligence and Intuition, has been studying and living with them for many years and has a connection and insight into their society that almost no one else has. Mother bears punishing cubs, sharing with family members, language, standing up to bears in the wild and so much more!

Important Times:
00:10 Intro
02:50 Welcome Benjamin! What caused you to start studying bears?
04:20 Your first bear encounter
06:40 Rehabilitating black bears and keeping bear cubs
10:15 Bear scent: how do they use their sense of smell?
15:50 Sharing resources and being social: bears share with family members
22:10 Your friend Squirty the bear
25:40 Do the bears you raise see you as a parent? How she punishes bad behavior
29:50 They can read people, highly cognitive animals
34:55 Males vs female bears
38:45 Bear hazing -  helping bears caught around people
40:20 Communicating with the bears in the way they understand
42:05 Alpha males
45:10 What do you do if you run into a bear in the wild? Deescalate the situation
50:10 Attacks on humans
52:45 Backyard chickens are drawing the bears closer to humans
54:50 Hunting black bears and population
59:40 One thing you wish people understood about bears
01:02:35 Male bears and cubs
01:05:25 There's so much more to learn, thank you for sharing your knowledge!