Nationally-recognized biologist to discuss black bears

GRAFTON — The Nature Museum at Grafton will present a talk by wildlife biologist Ben Kilham, Ph.D., on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m., at the NewsBank conference Center, 352 Main St.. in Chester.

Highlighted by images, the presentation will focus on how the social behavior of black bears resembles that of humans, according to a news release.

Years of observing black bears and rehabilitating orphan bears informs Kilham's expertise. Devoted to black bears, he has studied their habits and forged relationships with them for more than two decades.

Thought to be solitary, black bears exhibit social behavior that may parallel early human behavior. They show evidence of reciprocal altruism, matrilineal hierarchy, and a mix of intentional and emotional communication.

Kilham, his wife, Debra, and his sister Phoebe have rehabilitated some 90 to 100 cubs over the course of his career. They've cared for and fed the cubs until they're 18 months old - even bringing them into their home - and then helped them to return successfully to the wild.

Kilham has been the focus of several news articles and documentaries, including National Geographic's “A Man Among Bears” and Animal Planet's “Papa Bear.” He is also author of the books “Among the Bears: Raising Orphaned Cubs in the Wild” and “Out on a Limb: Origins of Intuition and Intelligence.” He is licensed as a bear rehabilitator by the state of New Hampshire.

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