“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” ~ Mathatma Gandhi.
A new book aims to raise awareness of the plight facing Bears and to raise money to protect them. This is the latest book in the Remembering Wildlife series which has so far raised more than £952,000 for conservation through book sales around the world.
“There can be few species that we humans have such a contradictory relationship with, than Bears. From hugging toys of them at night as children, to labelling them as anything from a nuisance to a threat, entertainment to medicine, we are nothing but hypocritical in how we relate to this most awe inspiring creature. At Remembering Wildlife, we believe it is time to stop and think about this contradiction.
As you’ll see in this stunning collection of images, the eight Bear species roam from ice sheets to forests, meadows to mountains. From tender moments with their young, to fierce territorial battles between males, we tell their story in a way that commands respect, awe and reappraisal.
American Black Bear (Ursus Americans) by Amy Gulick Tongass. National Forest, Alaska This Black Bear cub was sent up a tree by its mother for safekeeping while she fished in the stream below. It was an unusually hot day and the cub flopped out on the branch until mom gave the signal to come down for a meal.
With this book, we aim to shine a spotlight on their diversity and beauty, their resilience and fortitude and most importantly, to raise funds for those working to protect them. We are supported in this mission once again by many of the world’s top wildlife photographers, who have all generously donated their work. Together, we are determined to stand up for Bears and penetrate the moral consciousness of all those who would exploit or see them destroyed. Because the planet would be poorer without them” – Margot Raggett, Remembering Wildlife Founder.
Chaparri Ecological Reserve, Peru Andean Bear. Photographer Daniel Rosengren was visiting a bear sanctuary in Chaparri when suddenly this wild bear appeared and climbed a tree. Staff explained it visited sometimes and was not shy.
All profits from the sale of the book will be used to support projects working to protect Bears.
Each turn of the page reveals another striking image of one of the eight Bear species –American Black Bear, Andean Bear, Asiatic Black Bear, Brown Bear, Giant Panda, Polar Bear, Sloth Bear and Sun Bear – revealing tender moments with family members, fierce territorial battles and the harsh reality of life as a bear, for example, when searching for food.
Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) by Tim Laman Gunung Palung National Park, West Kalimantan, Indonesia Sun Bears are rare, and this image was one of a handful of obtained during two years of intensive camera trapping, deep in the remote rainforest of Gunung Palung National Park in Indonesian Borneo.
Actor and comedian Ricky Gervais has endorsed the book, saying it is: “A wonderful book that shows how beautiful Bears are and just what we have to lose if we don’t stand up for them now. They deserve better.”
The hardback coffee table book is a collection of 88 stunning images taken by the world’s top wildlife photographers – including Marsel van Oosten, Art Wolfe, Frans Lanting, Greg du Toit and Daisy Gilardini – who have generously donated images to help protect Bears in the wild.
Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) by Marsel van Oosten Svalbard. Climate change is not the only threat to Polar Bears. In Canada, the world’s largest exporter of Polar Bear skins, more than 600 Bears are legally killed every year. Hunters worldwide kill more Polar Bears than African Rhinos, which are protected by guards against poaching.
Six out of the eight Bear species are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Vulnerable or Endangered due to pressures ranging from climate change to human-wildlife conflict. Even those Bears of least concern, such as Brown Bears, are at risk of being lost for good in certain countries.
Founder of Remembering Wildlife Margot Raggett said: “Humans have long had a special relationship with Bears – we hug them at night as children and love seeing them in story books and on screen. Yet, in the real world, they’re not always viewed with the same affection and can been seen as a nuisance or a threat.
“Some face lives of misery – as dancing Bears, illegally trafficked as pets or used for medicine – or face serious threats and extinction through climate change, hunting or human-wildlife conflict.
Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) by Suzi Estzerhas. Two playful seven-month-old Giant Panda cubs in a tree Chengdu, China
“Through images and words, this book shines a spotlight on their diversity, beauty and resilience as well as raising awareness of their plight and raising funds for organisations passionately fighting for the future of Bears.”
The foreword for the book is by award-winning wildlife filmmaker, presenter and public speaker Gordon Buchanan MBE.
Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) by Tin Man Lee Lake Clark National Park, Alaska. After three hours lying motionless in remote Alaska, the photographer caught this picture of a spring cub waking up from a deep sleep and sitting up, with mother Bear, who was 20 feet away, dashing back to give a cub a nose touch.
Further information about Remembering Wildlife can be found here .
To find out more about the projects that Remembering Wildlife has already funded, click here
Each book costs £45 GBP (approximately $50 USD) and copies can be ordered at Remembering Wildlife