Bear Impressions: Grizzly Man
By Travis Jepson (06/08/10 00:55:10)
Related animal: Bear

The documentary on Timothy Treadwell was very interesting in the context of this class. Especially the second time around, I felt I truly understood what I was watching. The director gave a very excellent overall view, though at the end he seemed to suddenly switch gears to criticize Tim's work.

I believe Tim did not want to become a bear as many of his critics suggest, I believe he adopted their mannerisms due to the fact he was all alone and that he is interacting with them to live among them. Being completely alone drives him to use the camera in his documentation as a journal for telling his thoughts. In many instances we see how his everyday interactions cause Tim to realize just how helpless these powerful animals really are. He sees how they are at the mercy of man and that life is tough in the wilderness for these animals. He sees that nothing is all powerful. I believe Tim saw the bears as a symbol of strength but in the end he saw that they were just a part of nature where no one being remains supreme.

I believe what drove him to this lifestyle came from when he lost his core discipline. He was a highly successful college diver and he lost it all due to partying. After this he lost his focus and it would seem that he was looking for something to put all his energy into. Tim found his passion release in observing/protecting wild animals.

Perhaps the most interesting point raised was the issue of what animals we choose to value and save. For instance the bear that killed Tim was killed in its natural habitat, why? In the more private sector this problem becomes more obvious, at the zoo a tiger kills a man who was teasing it while it was confined to a cage. A guard walks over and shoots it dead. However if we look at the instances in Seaworld, an orca whale kills three trainers yet no action is taken. I believe it does not matter what the animal does, it comes down to the cost. Especially in our society, the price value over-weighs human and animal value.

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