Jake MacDonald had his first experience with bears when, as a 20-year-old travelling through the wilderness of British Columbia, he lay awake in his tent at night, simultaneously eager and terrified at the prospect of encountering a grizzly. Although he saw no bears on that trip, he has seen plenty since. Part memoir, part natural history, Grizzlyville is MacDonald’s fascinating meditation on North America’s largest predators and on the people who deal with them, sometimes on a daily basis.
More than ever before, bears and human beings are living closer together as climate change, deforestation and community encroachment diminish bear territory. In some places, like the mountainside suburbs of Vancouver and the cities of Northern Ontario, bears are almost as common as raccoons. In Churchill, Manitoba, they’re a tourist attraction. Some experts believe that the animals should be left entirely alone; others argue that responsible hunting will best serve both bears and human beings. MacDonald gives weight to both sides as he examines the history and behaviour of the three species of bears in North America—grizzlies, black bears and polar bears. Thought-provoking and often frightening, Grizzlyville draws on the personal experiences of MacDonald and others, recounting an absorbing story about the place bears occupy in our world and the place we occupy in theirs.
"Grizzlyville does a wondrous job of placing bears back where they belong . . . in the natural world and in those recesses of human imagination where bears have always lived. . . . A vivid book, rich in detail, about one of the earth's greatest creatures.?
? Thomas McGuane, author of Ninety-two in the Shade ()