Who would give bears human characteristics?

It is entirely possible that I may, on occasion, have given slightly human characteristics to some of the wildlife that snuck into my pictures. If it happened, I blame the children’s books we read to our kids.

And yes, I am talking about the Bernstain Bears. Some of you might remember, “Bear Country, where the Bear family lived in a big tree house down a sunny dirt road …” They walked to the store (upright of course) to buy too much junk food, went to the dentist, wore clothes and all the other things bears normally don’t do.

The books were extremely well written and a big hit around our house. Of course, we knew it was ridiculous to take an animal that can kill to eat and make it appear like a play friend for four-year olds. I mean what were they thinking?

Bears are menacing.

grizzly, cub, bear,

Then I stumble upon these two grizzly cubs. Suddenly I’m trying to figure which one of the Bernstain Bears they were.

grizzly, cub, bear,

grizzly, cub, bear, standing

And here’s one last twist in this little tale. The first two photos are images of the same grizzly cub.

Latest Comments

  1. lexi says:

    BEAUTIFUL …. having been about 400 yards away from a 1000 lb grizzly and having my heart pound in my ears, just wondering how you got this close without sweating bullets 🙂 Nice work


  2. Kylie says:

    Ah, it’s Little Bear! Where’s his cardboard box space helmet??


  3. rachel bar says:

    You mean to say that bears are not cute and cuddly? Am I not supposed to come close and offer them food? Another myth broken… Love the photos.


    • lylekrahn says:

      Oh they are definitely cute and cuddly sometimes, it’s just hard to tell if its one of those times or another time! So many myths … Glad you liked the photos.


  4. Marco Pesaresi says:

    A really beautiful set of images Lyle, well done.


  5. Phil Lanoue says:

    Fantastic photos of these magnificent animals! That face in pic #2 is priceless!
    I often assign human characteristics to birds and animals we see. Plus we have to ‘talk’ for them, imagining what they might be saying. Who knows? Sometimes we may even be correct.


  6. melodylowes says:

    Ha ha! As a teacher, I use books about animal characters all the time. My least favourite are those about mice – I mean, MICE? *shudder*


  7. Jim says:

    The problem with bears is they go from all the way happy to all the way mad in an instant and if your to close when that happens you have a problem. 🙂 Great photos Lyle


  8. FeyGirl says:

    Ah, some of my favorite books!! 🙂 These are gorgeous images… Just beautiful. But of course you’re absolutely correct; never apply human characteristics to wildlife. Like us they have their own divinity in my opinion, but they are trying to survive, and it’s dangerous to get in their ways.


  9. hannele says:

    yes, great photos! they look a bit tame, which is slightly disturbing…

    it’s funny that, at least in the children’s books i remember, bears were the cute and friendly ones and wolves were portrayed as evil/mean/sneaky. here in finland, bears have killed more people during the past 100 years than wolves – but that doesn’t really say much since the numbers are 1 for bears (the brown bear) and 0 for the wolves.


    • lylekrahn says:

      In Canada the wolf is often portrayed as the vicious killer but bears have done more damage. The key point is that often any human/animal encounter that goes bad was because people were careless about the fact they were dealing with wild animals even if they didn’t look like that at times. Including the contact caused by bad human behaviour, the animals have countless opportunities to hurt or kill humans and out of all that contact there are only a few incidents that end badly. I think that’s amazing.


  10. Mike Powell says:

    “Stumble upon?” How does one “stumble upon” grizzly bears? I guess I live in the wrong neighborhood (or maybe grizzlies simply find townhouse living to be too constraining). Each of these shots is amazing.


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks Mike. I really like bear photos and for years had not been able to get many opportunities. Last June we went to Banff and Jasper National Parks in the Rockies specifically to look for bears. It turns out if you go at the right time, to the right place and then commit lots of time, you get rewarded. If you do all that then it’s possible to stumble upon them.


  11. vanbraman says:

    I wonder if parents who live in areas where there are a lot of bears let their children read books like the Berenstain Bears.


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