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Treadwell's Passion for Grizzly Bears

October 18, 2003

The Times' coverage of the untimely passing of Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend makes me "beary" upset (Oct. 13). As I read through the articles, it is difficult to find the Timothy I knew and respected.

I first met Timothy when he came to my third-grade class in 1999 and gave his grizzly bear presentation, which taught the students about Alaska, grizzly bears and the ecosystem.

He encouraged the students to study hard, stay in school and not to do drugs or drink alcohol. The students and I loved his energy and passion for his life's mission. He came back every year as a special guest. He taught thousands of children throughout the country. Timothy did not charge the schools for his presentation.

Timothy was a rare individual. His burning desire to help animals was not limited to grizzly bears. Last spring he was involved in a project to save harp seals from being slaughtered. As those of us who knew him try to deal with our loss, please keep in mind that besides photographing the bears, Timothy was defending them from poachers. Please let him rest in peace.

Valerie Roach

Los Angeles


All your articles about Treadwell have told us how much he knew about bears and how much time he spent teaching other people about them. His unfortunate demise appears to be his most accurate and instructive statement about bears. It demonstrated how little he really knew and how much misinformation he was passing on. He lasted as long as he did due in large part to the location he used to pull this misguided stunt. The Katmai bears are very well fed and used to a fair amount of human contact. It's tragic that his ignorance and self-absorption led to the death of his girlfriend and the unnecessary destruction of two bears.

Johnie Jones


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