The Story of 'Grizzly Man' Timothy Treadwell, whose Obsession v Bears brought about a Tragic end


He want to befriend the wild, yet at what cost?

*Originally released on September 29, 2021:

Timothy Treadwellwas an American bear enthusiast, environmentalist, and also documentary filmmaker. He had spent 13 summers the his life in Alaska"s Katmai nationwide Park researching the seaside brown bears, or the "grizzly bears."Treadwellmade number of documentaries the his wildlife interactions through videos, photos, and also audio. In 2003, 46-year-old Treadwelland his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, shed their stays while camping and recording us amidst the wild.

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Timothy Treadwell"s life, work, and death came to be a resource of incentive for German film directorWerner Herzog"s critically acclaimed documentary movie theGrizzly Man, released in 2005. Herzog offered Treadwell"s journals, consisting of the critical audio, to depict the story the a guy who taken into consideration the bear his friends prior to being consumed alive by one of them.


Treadwellwith one of the grizzlies the named, Chocolate. Courtesy the Herzog"s "Grizzly Man."

Treadwellhad always been an animal lover. After his an initial encounter v a brown be afflicted with in Alaska, the knew that had uncovered the love that his life. After suffering a near-fatal heroin overdose in the so late 1980s, Treadwelldedicated his life to the Alaskan wild bears. For 13summers, he retained escaping come the wild and named every bear that encountered.

All this years, Treadwellrecorded nearly 100 hrs of videos and also had do a huge collection of tho photographs of his communication with the animals.

September 2003: Treadwell"s search to see his favorite bear

Each year by September, the bears start preparing for the "Great Sleep."The animals usually hibernate from November till April and also feed as much as they can before resting because that the months. Many bear watchers leave Katmai during September as the appetites that the bears"rise. On September 26, 2003, Treadwelland Amie were set to return indigenous Kaflia Bay once Treadwelldecided to stay earlier as the didn"t meet his favourite bear yet for the season. It was a female, and also Treadwellhad named her Downey.

The couple ventured back to Katmai nationwide Park and camped deep within the Grizzly Mazein Kaflia just to remain undetected by the Park Service. It to be Treadwell"s favorite spot for bear watching, together he pointed out in his 1997 book Among Grizzlies.

Treadwellset up their camp along with one of the far-ranging bear trails in the Maze. According to his taped videos, hewas aware of the attention location. Still, Treadwellwas persuaded that the animals wouldn"t pose any harm together they considered him a friend.

Treadwellstopped utilizing bear spray and electric fence

Considering the bear friendly, Treadwellstopped using bear sprays and electric fences roughly his tent. His dangerous techniques for bear encounters had constantly drawn warnings indigenous the park rangers. Treadwellbelieved the had occurred a feeling of shared trust and also respect v the animals. However, professionals thought the "was breaking every park ascendancy that over there was, in regards to distance come the bears, harassing wildlife, and interfering with herbal processes."

According to biologistLarry van Daele, "his decision no to have any defensive approaches or be affected by each other deterrents in the camp directly responsible for catastrophic event."


Screenshot courtesy of Treadwell"s videotaped video

Aggressive bear sighted

In the summer of 2003, Treadwellhad experienced much more aggressive be affected by each other behaviors. The bears were starving as result of drought and preparing themselves slowly for hibernation. As fall approached, salmon populaces soared, making the bears an extremely active. After spending 13 years as a be affected by each other enthusiast, Treadwellwas well mindful of the season and also bear activities, however he still decided to stay.

"But, permit me simply tell you, just in between Amie, myself, and you, every fish ran, every bear to be here. Us made the finest friggin" selection of our lives ... When the resolved down, boy, it was amazing out here," Treadwelltold his friend Willy Fulton ~ above October 4, 2 days before his mauled body to be found.

The deadly week

On October 5, Treadwelland Amie speak to Jewel Palovak, co-author the Timothy"s publication Among Grizzlies,over a satellite phone. Jewel was additionally one that the few aware the the couple"s decision to stay earlier in the park in September. "You"re gonna think I"m crazy," Treadwellhad said Jewel. "But there"s a fish run and also we"re going to go back ... And we desire to make sure Downey"s okay. What do you think?" Treadwellhad lastly met Downey, and they were all set to come back home, as they educated Jewel ~ above October 5.

The couplewas collection to return top top Monday, October 6, andinformed your friend Fulton to choose them up on his floatplane.


Portrait the Treadwelland Amie,Courtesy of Herzog"s "Grizzly Man"

Encounter through the "25th Grizzly"

The horrific strike on Treadwellmade experts think that he can have encountered the "25th Grizzly." bear of such nature "tolerates no male or bear, one that will certainly without bias." Treadwellwas conscious of such bears and also had additionally mentioned lock in his bookAmong Grizzlies.

In September, the pair recorded communication with two large male bears whom Treadwellnamed Demon and Machine. Hisbehavior in the direction of the pets seemed convincing that the grizzlies to be 25ths. He was still persuasive in befriending them. "The Red machine is native the old days, the old job of as soon as bears come here and the sight, the smell of a human meant poacher ... How can I connect to that that i am friend and also all the remainder are foe?" wrote Treadwell.

October 5: Fateful evening

On the fateful evening of October 5, it"s thought that the couple was mauled through the 1,000-pound grizzly, Machine. Top top Sunday evening, Treadwellheard a bear growling exterior their tent. He went out and kept his sound recorder on. In the mental audio, later analyzed through Alaska State Troopers, Treadwellis heard shouting for3 minutes, saying that the bear to be attacking him. Amie asks him to play dead and also to fight back the bear. Treadwellasks her to struggle the bear. “Amie gain away, gain away, go away,” Treadwell"s shout is heard end the stormy sound in tape, urging Amy to save herself. However, his voicegradually reduces to moans if Amie then allows out spine-chilling screams. The 6-minuteaudio clip ends there.

Treadwell"s friend, Kodiak wait taxi pilot Fulton, arrived to receive the couple the next day, just to angry a horrific sight. Together he flew over the camp sight, Fulton saw a broke down tent and also a large bear sitting over a heap of what looked favor a human body. Fulton arrived on the lake and also called Alaska State Troopers in Kodiak and National Park ranger in King Salmon. Top top arrival, the ranger searched the area and also discovered mauled body components of Treadwella few feet away from the camp. Amie"s remains were partially buried under a heap of twigs and also dirt beside the torn tents.

The park rangers were compelled to kill a charging old male bear and also another young one together they clearing the site of the couple"s remains. Investigators recovered human being body parts and also clothes once a necropsy to be performed after that the dead adult bear"s body. Reports additionally suggested the the bear was starving due to old age and broken teeth. This could have caused the be afflicted with roaming about Treadwell"s tent trying to find food.

In the 85-year background of Katmai national Park, this was the first known incident of a human being being attacked and killed through a bear.

Grizzly Man to be co-produced by the discovery Channel andLions gate Entertainment. The theatrical release additionally featured a 2001 interview of TreadwellwithDavid Letterman, i beg your pardon was later on retained in the DVD relax of the documentary.

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What execute you think that theGrizzly Man?Have friend watched the documentary? Share your opinionsin the comments.