Reflection: Interspecies Communication
In Response to the film "Walking with Giants: The Grizzlies of Siberia"
By Danielle Terhune (05/10/10 17:33:25)
Related animal: Bear

I never like to see people working with wild animals directly, but I believe that the restrictions that Charlie Russell and his collaborator (wife?) placed on themselves when interacting and studying the bears were closer to a scientific research perspective and less of a personal enrichment. I think that if they had not come across the three bear cubs in need I would have been more opposed to their interaction. I am still on the fence as to whether I would promote further engagement with other people in this type of field of study. I am more approving of a “Planet Earth” type of study where the researchers and wild life enthusiasts camouflage themselves from the animals and limit time of observation as to not disturb their natural habitat. Russell’s argument was that the research was to help people understand that bears aren’t mindless monsters, but can be thoughtful and graceful and curious and not too dangerous to humans who respect boundaries. His goal was to also show the bears that they have no need to fear humans. I disagree with these goals. I believe that bears need to have a healthy respectful fear of humans and humans still need to have a healthy fear of bears. This will keep both safer. I think breaking down the boundaries of fear will lead to more loss of life on both ends then less.

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