Few people know bears as intimately as Else Poulsen. She has raised bears, comforted bears, taught bears, learned from bears, had bears communicate their needs to her, and nursed bears back to health. This remarkable book reveals the many insights about bears and their lives that she has gained through her work with them. In the eighties, Poulsen became a zookeeper in Calgary, where she rehabilitated bears in crisis. She has shared in the joy of a polar bear discovering soil under her paws for the first time in twenty years, felt the pride of a cub learning to crack nuts with her molars, and grieved at the horror of captivity for Asian black bears in China. Smiling Bears provides an enlightening and moving portrait of bears in all their richness and complexity and of Poulsen’s exhilarating work with them. Else Poulsen holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. She has worked at the Calgary and Detroit zoos and is known internationally for her captive bear husbandry and rehabilitation. In 2000 she won the Zookeeper Research Excellence Award from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association’s Bear Taxon Advisory Group. She works as an animal management consultant for zoos, sanctuaries, wildlife rehabilitators, and other animal welfare groups and lives in southern Ontario.
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