The Social Black Bear

Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Ages: Geared towards adults, children 10 and up
Cost: Tickets $7 before October 16th; $10 after | Purchase
Location: NewsBank Conference Center, 352 Main St. Chester, VT

© Ben Kilham

Find out how the social behavior of black bears resembles that of humans, when wildlife biologist Ben Kilham, PhD presents “The Social Black Bear: What Bears Have Taught Me About Being Human.”

Did you know that black bears can live for as many as forty years? This lengthy life span gives them ample reason to form relationships with fellow cooperators as they are likely to reap long-term benefits from such connections.

 Black bears, thought to be solitary, have a different type of social behavior that may parallel early human behavior. They show evidence of reciprocal altruism, matrilineal hierarchy, and a mix of intentional and emotional communication. 

Years of observing black bears and rehabilitating orphan bears informs Kilham's expertise. Devoted to black bears, he has studied their habits and interacted with them for over two decades. 

Kilham is licensed as a bear rehabilitator by the state of New Hampshire, and he and his wife, Debra, and sister, Phoebe, have accepted orphaned bear cubs into their home and helped them to successfully return to the wild. 

Please join us for what is bound to be a very interesting program on an animal that many of us have had the pleasure of spotting in The Green Mountains (or our backyards). 

About Ben Kilham

Ben Kilham, of Lyme, New Hampshire, holds a PhD in environmental sciences from Drexel University and a bachelor’s degree in wildlife science from the University of New Hampshire. In addition to bear rehabilitation and research, he owns a custom gunsmithing business.

Kilham has been the focus of several news articles and documentaries, including National Geographic’s “A Man Among Bears” and Animal Planet’s “Papa Bear.” He is the author of the books Out on a Limb: What Black Bears Have Taught Me About Intuition and Intelligence, with a foreword by Temple Grandin, and Among the Bears: Raising Orphaned Cubs in the Wild.

Find out more about Kilham’s work at

© Ben Kilham