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.