Ben Kilham Presents "The Social Black Bear"

We are pleased to bring an exciting event presentation from independent wildlife biologist and bear rehabilitator Ben Kilham on October 26th at the NewsBank Conference Center in Chester. 

Kilham first aided a bear as a rehabilitator in 1992; the following year he raised twin wild orphaned black bears. He found the Kilham Black Bear Rehabilitation Center with his sister, Phoebe and together they have taken in, rehabilitated, and released over 130 bear cubs. His unconventional methods for rehabilitating bears, including serving as their stand-in mother and maintaining close physical contact, have won over many skeptics.

When asked what first peeked his interest in working closely with bears, Kilham explained: "My sister was invested in husbandry and I in behavior. I was interested in studying carnivores like coyotes, bobcats or fishers. None of those animals came our way, but bears did. There was no formal rehab of bears at the time. Bears turned out to be the ideal animal to study."

According to Kilham, these orphaned bear cubs can be trained to thrive in the wild if given the chance to tap into their instincts, "All wild animals have in their genome the knowledge of how to survive in their natural environment. We give them that opportunity to learn." 

Over the course of his working in close contact with bears, Kilham has made many discoveries related to the nuances of their social behaviors, which in many ways he says mirror the complexity of human social interactions.

Kilham is the author of two books, Out on a Limb: What Black Bears Have Taught Me About Intelligence and Intuition and Among the Bears: Raising Orphaned Cubs in the Wild. He is a resident of Lyme, New Hampshire, where he lives with his wife, Debbie.

Come join us on October 26th to learn more about this fascinating species local to the Green Mountains, including their social behaviors, and delve deeper into the success of Kilham's unusual methods.

Learn more about Ben's work on his website.