Getting to know how bears interact with each other
and with humans
h a s b e e n t h e f o c a l p o i n t o f B e n K i l h a m ’ s r e s e a r c h .
By watching bears grow and respond to their environment, Kilham has a unique insight into their behavior. Here, one bear
finds out what the other has been eating.
BEN KILHAM PHOTO
Ben Kilham — the hunter, gunsmith and bear researcher from Lyme — is getting national recognition for finding out that black bears aren’t quite as solitary as we once thought.
He’s seen bears drag a half-rotten log into the water to use as a float. They’ll even drag the log to shore to use it another day. Ben Kilham has actually observed this phenomenon. He’s seen black bears do many other amazing things. T’S BEEN SAID that black bears are so secretive and intelligent, when a person approaches in the woods, a bear will sometimes hide behind a tree, watching. The bear will move around the tree and watch as the unsuspecting person passes by. He’s seen as many as three bear By Eric Aldrich cubs climb a dead tree and rock it back and forth, just to knock it over. He’s seen how black bears will leave their scent on trees, then use those trees as signposts, telling other He’s watched bear cubs wrestle, just to see if the other cub is trustwor- thy. bears who’s been there and when, what they’ve eaten and even how to locate food sources. Kilham himself has even wrestled with full-grown black bears. And by gaining their trust, Kilham has learned much about bear behavior – things