Timothy Treadwell shunned the advice of all authority in pursuit of his passion. He not only caused his own death but the death of another individual. He also jeopardized the lives of those who went to find out what had happened to them. But the worst part was through his total disregard for the welfare of the bears he loved so much, he caused two of these magnificent animals to be destroyed.
Sure, he professed that if this type of situation ever befell him that he wanted no action to be taken against the bears. In truth, he knew that's exactly what would happen; the authorities had no choice.
Mr. Treadwell was not the only one at fault here. His financial backers share in the tragedy. The authorities should not have allowed him to continually return to the area every year and break the rules. The message put out by his actions put many others at risk when they go into the wild in pursuit of photographs of bears.
In the learning process, I, too, have made many mistakes around bears. It is a learning process, and we adjust our behavior according to our mistakes. Anyone who has spent time in the presence of brown bears knows that they are wild animals and need to be treated as such. Pushing the envelope and being a know-it-all is only inviting a terrible disaster to happen.
Many people have been working very hard to stop something like this from happening; all Mr. Treadwell did was to defy all of it. It cost him his life and he discredited all photographers and others who love bears and work to protect them.
I only hope that his actions don't make it harder for all of us to pursue our passion of living and working in and around the bears of Alaska.
Arne Grisham, Abeare Photography, Kenai
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.