Timothy Treadwell was an American bear enthusiast, environmentalist, and documentary filmmaker and founder of the bear-protection organization Grizzly People. He lived among coastal brown bears (Ursus arctos), which he called grizzly bears, in Katmai National Park in Alaska for 13 summers
Beginning in the late 1980s, Treadwell began summering in Alaska. For 13 summers in a row, he would camp along the Katmai Coast, an area of Alaska well known for its large grizzly bear population. During the early part of the summers he would stay on the “Big Green,” a grassy area on Hallo Bay. Later, he’d move south to Kaflia Bay, an area with thick brush.
Big Green was good for sighting bears as the grass was low and visibility was clear. Treadwell called it the “Grizzly Sanctuary” since it was where they came to rest and mosey around the coast. The Kaflia Bay area, thicker and more densely wooded, was better for getting in close contact with the bears. Referred to as the “Grizzly Maze,” the area was full of intersecting grizzly trails and was much easier to hide in.
While camping, Treadwell would get up close and personal with the bears, and film all of the interactions on his video camera. Some of the videos even showed him touching the bears and playing with cubs. While he claimed he was always careful to develop a sense of trust and mutual respect, there were many who thought otherwise.
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