BETHLEHEM, N.H.—The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the Littleton Conservation Commission will host noted wildlife biologist Ben Kilham for a presentation about black bears at The Rocks Estate July 29, beginning at 7 p.m. Proceeds from the $15 admission fee will be put toward improvements to the education center at The Rocks.
A renowned black bear researcher and Lyme, N.H., resident, Kilham has shared his knowledge about bears with more than 40,000 people through his lectures. His slide show is based on the social relationships within the black bear society.
Kilham, who has a wildlife management degree from the University of New Hampshire, has gained his bear knowledge first hand by raising and observing dozens of orphaned black bears. In the spring of 1992, Kilham found himself parenting a pair of orphaned, emaciated, four-pound bear cubs. The experience has led to his parenting over 40 cubs, releasing them back into the wild, and researching and observing the life cycle of the black bear. His first book about these experiences, “Among the Bears: Raising Orphan Cubs in the Wild,” was published in 2002.
Kilham’s dyslexia once barred him from getting an advanced academic degree, securing funding for his research, and publishing his observations in the scientific literature. After being shunned by the traditional scientific community, however, Kilham’s unique findings now interest bear researchers worldwide. His techniques even aid scientists working with pandas in China and bears in Russia.
Moreover, the observation skills that fueled Kilham’s exceptional work turned out to be born of his dyslexia. His ability to think in pictures and decipher systems makes him a unique interpreter of the bear’s world.
Kilham’s second book, “Out on a Limb,” delivers his fascinating glimpse at the inner world of bears, and also makes a passionate case for science, and education in general, to open its doors to different ways of learning and researching—doors that could lead to far broader realms of discovery.
By thinking more from the bear’s perspective, Kilham has designed workshops that provide wildlife managers with tools to disarm threatening bear behavior without destroying bears. Kilham has been featured in National Geographic television specials and articles in The New York Times, People Magazine, and The Boston Globe, as well as on the “Today Show,” “Dateline NBC,” “CBS Coast to Coast,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” and many others.