Bear Necessities

Rescue, Rehabilitation, Sanctuary, and Advocacy

This book is also available in paperback.

What is it like to rehabilitate sun bears in the rainforests of Malaysia? Why are sloth bears trained to dance? How is traditional Chinese medicine implicated in the deaths of black bears in North America? Bear Necessities answers all of these questions, and many more. Through the voices of activists, scientists, and educators, readers walk alongside those who pull sun bears from Vietnamese bile farms, track Andean bears in the rugged hills of Ecuador, work to protect Montana’s grizzlies in the courtroom, and gently heal the many wounded bears who live in sanctuaries around the world. Though almost every bear species is endangered or severely threatened, Bear Necessities offers hope through knowledge and understanding, which reside at the heart of change.

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Lisa Kemmerer, PhD., graduate of Reed and Harvard, is a scholar and activist, and author/editor of nine books including Eating Earth, Animals and Environment, Sister Species, Animals and World Religions, and Primate People. You can learn more about her at
"Lisa Kemmerer's book reveals not only the tragedy and cruelty being imposed upon bears internationally, but also the successes in combating it...Equally thought provoking, sad, joyful, inspiring, the reader will experience all these emotions as the pages reveal realities rarely known before. This book commands a treasured space on any bear-lover's bookshelf." -Mick W., North Shore Black Bear Network
List of Contributors
Introduction, Lisa Kemmerer
PART I: Bear Basics
1.Bear Basics, Lisa Kemmerer
2.Bear-Aware for Twenty Years, Victor Watkins
3.Making a Difference for Bears in Asia, Amy Corrigan
4.Polar Bears: Watching Extinction in Real Time, Kassie Siegel and Brendan Cummings
PART II: A World of Problems
5.Franzi: Beloved Ambassador for Bears on Bile Farms, Jill Robinson
6.Little Bears, Big Trees, Tiny Insects: Protecting Sun Bears and their Rainforest, Lisa Kemmerer and Siew Te Wong
7.Libearty Sanctuary Zarnesti: Sharing Love and Sheltering Life in Eastern Europe, Cristina Lapis
8.9,540,000 Square Miles, 800,000 American Black Bears, 3 Rescues, Charlotte Lorraine Cressey
9.Failing Giant Pandas: Captive Breeding and Conservation, Sarah M. Bexell
10.Bear Baiting in Pakistan, Fakhar -i- Abbas
11.Dirty Dancing: Caring for Sloth Bears in India, Lisa Kemmerer
12.Sliding Down Mountainsides on My Butt in Search of the Elusive Andean Bear, Dalma Zsalakó
13.Finding Enrico: Protecting Andean Bears and their Habitat, Lisa Kemmerer, Kerry Fugett, and Simona Kobel
PART III: Policy
14.Brown Bears, Salmon, People: Traveling Upstream to a Sustainable Future, Chris Darimont, et al
15.Cleaning up a Community for Black Bears, Mick Webb
16.U.S. Wildlife Agencies: Outdated, Misguided, and Destructive, Lisa Kemmerer
17.The Assignment: Breaking Laws to Build Laws on behalf of Lake Tahoe’s Black Bears, Ann Bryant
18.A Grizzly Battle: Government Agencies, Endangered Species, and the U.S. Legal System, Tara Zuardo
19.Panda Preservation 2.0: Shifting Gears to Save a Species, Anna Beech and Marc Brody
PART IV: Bears and Beyond
20.Canary in the Arctic, Lisa Kemmerer
21.Bears, Birds, and Human Hubris: Imagining Bears in the Andes, Tom Regele
22.The Damage and Hope of Total Institutions: Visiting a Bear Sanctuary in Cambodia, Lisa Kemmerer and Daniel Kirjner
23.Bear Naked: Compassion and Wilderness, Dana Medoro
Bear Necessities will be of interest to students of environmental studies, animal studies, and ecology as well as to environmentalists, animal activists, wildlife, and bear enthusiasts more generally.
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