How I Met a Bear

No, this picture isn’t photoshopped–it’s me with a real 700-pound bear named Buffy.

Recently I wrote a post for The Kill Zone about interesting people I’ve met while researching articles. One of those is Ben Mikaelsen, an award-winning children’s author. Ben adopted a research cub that couldn’t be released into the wild. Buffy inspired several of his books.

When Ben graciously invited me to visit his home outside Bozeman, Montana, and meet Buffy, I couldn’t say YES fast enough!

Fun fact: bears have a prehensile lower lip, like an elephant’s trunk. In this photo, I was feeding him a favorite treat, Wheat Thins. He didn’t take the cracker with his tongue or teeth. Instead, his lower lip ever so gently wrapped around it.

Recently I ran across this old photo, taken back in the 1990s. Buffy lived to age 27 and is now foraging in a heavenly field of spring dandelions.

Meeting him remains one of my all-time favorite memories. I want to share it with you.


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10 Responses to How I Met a Bear

  1. What a great Montana story and photo. Thanks for sharing, Debbie.

  2. Janet Fisher says:

    Love it! Such a memorable moment for you.

  3. Mary Ellen Gosman says:

    Should we make it to Heaven, will you introduce us? Just being in close proximity to God’s amazing wild creatures is a great privilege and gift. This once happened to me with a wild moose and filled me with awe and gratitude that he would allow me to stand close to him.

    • DABadmin says:

      Absolutely, Mary Ellen! Just remember to bring Wheat Thins.

      A wild moose would be incredible. I’ve never seen one after 30+ years of living in Montana. How wonderful for you!

  4. Betty says:

    Sweet. I recall Ben and your visit. A thrill.

  5. Kay DiBianca says:

    What a photo! And what a great memory to have. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us.

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