Tin Mountain Nature Program
Black Bears with Ben Kilham
Sat, Oct 14, 7 PM
Tin Mountain Nature Learning Center
Reservations are required by calling 603-447-6991
The fee for the program is $5 for Tin Mountain Members, $7 for non-members and $10 for families. If attending the Tin Mountain Fall Festival earlier in the day, the fee will apply to both programs.
Photos Courtesy of Ben Kilham
Join Ben Kilham in the Tin Mountain Nature Program Black Bears on Saturday, October 14 at 7 PM. Reservations are required by calling 603-447-6991.
Black bears are found in 10 counties in the state of New Hampshire. Many residents of the Mount Washington Valley are said to observe these furry neighbors while hiking in the woods, at bird feeders in the spring, or as uninvited guests for leftovers in their trash. Some area residents are still trying to meet their elusive five- to six-foot-tall, 256- to 330-pound adult neighbors. Whether you think of bears as a marvel or a nuisance, with such frequent sightings and unannounced visits you may want to learn more about your black bear neighbors from someone who knows them first hand.
“As we learn more about bear behavior, we better understand bear/ human conflicts,” Kilham said. “We begin to learn that it’s not a nuisance bear at all. It’s the way people are leaving food around and interacting with bears.” Kilham reveals that black bears are highly social individuals. They have the ability to plan and communicate through both physical and verbal language.
Black bears, thought to be solitary, have a different type of social behavior that possibly parallels early human behavior. They show evidence of reciprocal altruism, matri-linear hierarchy, and a mix of intentional and emotional communication. Bears can live for as many as forty years, which allows them long-term benefits from forming relationships with fellow cooperators.
Ben Kilham attended the University of New Hampshire and earned a degree in wildlife management. In the spring of 1992, Ben found himself parenting a pair of orphaned, emaciated, four-pound bear cubs. The experience eventually led him to parenting over 40 cubs, releasing them back in the wild, and researching and observing the whole life cycle of the black bear. By thinking more from the bear’s perspective, Ben has designed workshops that provide wildlife management with the tools to disarm threatening bear behavior without destroying the bear.
Ben Kilham also discovered an organ on the roof of the black bears’ mouth, named the “Kilham organ.” The organ acts a receptor allowing female bears to teach their young which plants are edible. “The nose is the finder,” says Kilham, “but the organ is the identifier.”
Ben Kilham, Ph.D is a wildlife biologist based in Lyme, New Hampshire. His love of and devotion to black bears has enabled him to study their habits and interact with them for more than two decades. He, his wife Debra and sister Phoebe have accepted orphaned bear cubs into their home and enabled them to successfully return to the wild. Ben 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.
Kilham has been featured in National Geographic television specials and articles in The New York Times, People Magazine, The Boston Globe, as well as the “Today Show,” “Dateline NBC,” “CBS Coast to Coast” and “The Late Show with David Letterman” and many others.
This is a great program for all ages, so be sure to tell your “neighbors.” This program fills quickly; so, be sure to reserve your spot today by calling TMCC at 603-447-6991. The fee for the program is $5 for Tin Mountain Members, $7 for non-members and $10 for families. If attending the Tin Mountain Fall Festival earlier in the day, the fee will apply to both programs. For more information log on to www.tinmountain.org, friend us on Facebook or simply call.
TMCC Nature Programs are open to the public and are generously sponsored by L. L Bean and the Bank of New Hampshire.