Our relationship with bears is complex. Some people think of bears
as big, cuddly pets, while others see them as dangerous, wild animals.
Many people want bears left undisturbed in the wild, while others
want to hunt and kill them, confine them in zoos or use them for their
fur, meat or body parts.
It’s clear that bears are popular animals almost everywhere in
the world. They’re featured in fables, cartoons, children’s books,
television shows, documentary films and other media. In 5 Bears I
mention two that have become famous: Winnie, the real bear that
led to the story Winnie the Pooh, and Wojtek, the soldier bear who
became a war hero. I also talk about lesser known bears like Yupi,
a polar bear who lived in Mexico, Jasper, who was rescued from a
bear farm in China, and Vince who now lives at a sanctuary in the
United States. I hope their stories show what their lives were, and
are, really like and the issues and challenges that all bears face.
There are many myths and misunderstandings about bears.
In 5 Bears I hope to set the record straight and convince you that
bears deserve our respect, compassion and protection. Today, bears
in the wild are threatened and many bears in captivity are suffering.
They need our help to ensure they survive and prosper in the years
ahead. I hope after reading this book you’ll decide it’s time for you
to do your part to help bears.