Animals are here at our mercy and it’s a privilege we’ve got that we shouldn’t abuse.

Peter Henderson

A bear must be seen as something more than a slab of meat, a tub of lard, four paws and a gall bladder.

James Fair

I wanna be a bear!
If you’re a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing for six months.
I could deal with that.
Before you hibernate, you’re supposed to eat yourself stupid.
I could deal with that too.
If you’re a bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you’re sleeping and wake to partially grown, but cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that.
If you’re a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that.
If you’re a bear, your mate expects you to wake up growling. He expects that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.
Yup, I wanna be a bear.

Author unknown

Bears are not companions of men, but children of God, and His charity is broad enough for both… bears are made of the same dust as we, and breathe the same winds and drink of the same waters. A bear’s days are warmed by the same sun, his dwellings are overdomed by the same blue sky, and his life turns and ebbs with heart-pulsings like ours and was poured from the same fountain…

John Muir

Bears keep me humble. They help me to keep the world in perspective and to understand where I fit on the spectrum of life. We need to preserve the wilderness and its monarchs for ourselves, and for the dreams of children. We should fight for these things as if our life depended upon it, because it does.

Wayne Lynch (“Bears: Monarchs of the Northern Wilderness”, 1993)

Should we allow environmental deterioration to continue, man’s fate may be worse than extinction.

Ron S Boster

The Siberians believe the bear was lowered in a golden cradle from the sky.

A messenger from the Gods.

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them – that’s the essence of inhumanity.

George Bernard Shaw

What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts soon happens to man. All things are connected.

Chief Seattle’s Testimony

It would be fitting, I think, if among the last man-made tracks on earth would be found the footprints of the great brown bear.

Earl Fleming

Alive, the grizzly is a symbol of freedom and understanding – a sign that man can learn to conserve what is left of the earth. Extinct, it will be another fading testimony to things man should have learned more about but was too preoccupied with himself to notice. In its beleaguered condition, it is above all a symbol of what man is doing to the entire planet. If we can learn from these experiences, and learn rationally, both grizzly and man may have a chance to survive.

Frank Craighead

Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.

Jane Goodall

Until he extends his circle of passion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.

Albert Schweitzer

Animals do feel like us, also joy, love, fear and pain but they cannot grasp the spoken word. It is our obligation to take their part and continue to resist the people who profit by them, who slaughter them and who torture them.

Denis de Rougement

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.

Martin Buber

Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.

Alfred A. Montapert

Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.

George Eliot

Life is life’s greatest gift. Guard the life of another creature as you would your own because it is your own. On life’s scale of values, the smallest is no less precious to the creature who owns it than the largest…

Lloyd Biggle, Jr.

Those who wish to pet and baby wildlife love them, but those who respect their natures and wish to let them live their natural lives, love them more.

Edwin Way Teale

Why Bears?

The words of Sally Maughan

Bear rehabilitator for over 20 years

Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from these cubs. Like children, they are innocent, not yet touched by the trials of the world around them. The bears never ask more than I can give, but they certainly give more than I could ever ask. They never judge, they never seek revenge, they never turn away, they never threaten, they never ask you to be anything but what you are. Isn’t that what we as humans should be doing with each other?

Can you imagine how it feels to be in the depths of sadness and have one of these constantly active bears come and sit next to me for an hour, never moving, just sharing that moment in time, just understanding the need? It speaks volumes. I’ve received more empathy from these bears during those moments than sometimes exists in the world around me. Isn’t that what we as humans should be doing with each other?

They are bears and there is no life force more knowing about who they are and what they are about than bears. They expect to be accepted as they are. They share who they are with me. They invite me into their world to see through their eyes. They don’t ask me to be a bear, but they show me what it is to be a bear. They know who they are and they know who I am, yet we somehow manage to share a world and be the better for it. As cubs, they play, they love, they express, they trust, they give, they laugh, they share, they feel joy, they feel pain, they feel sadness, they seek comfort, and each bear respects the individuality of the other. Isn’t that what we as humans should be doing with each other?

What I give the bears is minuscule in light of what they give me. Is there a greater gift than to be accepted as one of them even though I’m not? Isn’t that what we as humans should be doing with each other?