|Dumb & Dumber:
The remains of Timothy Treadwell,
left, and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard were found
the last words Timothy Treadwell uttered to his girlfriend
before a bear killed and partially ate both of them were
"Get out here.
I'm getting killed.''
Alaska State Troopers
report that is what they heard on a videotape recovered
Monday at the scene of a bear mauling in Katmai National
Park and Preserve. The tape was in a camera found near the
bear-buried remains of Treadwell, 46, and Huguenard, 37.
The offending bear was
apparently destroyed after park rangers descended to
|A typical Brown
Bear, resting between meals.
|This is one
animal you do NOT want to piss off by shooting .40
S&W service rounds at it.
Troopers spokesman Greg
Wilkinson said there are no pictures on the tape, leading
troopers to believe the attack might have happened while
the camera was stuffed in a duffle bag or during the dark
of night. Treadwell had talked to an associate in Malibu,
Calif., by satellite phone around noon Sunday. He
mentioned no problems with any bears.
The remains of the
Southern Californians who periodically came to Alaska to
live intimately with the bears were found the next day. A
large but scrawny old bear with bad teeth that a pilot had
seen sitting on the brush and dirt pulled over the bodies
was shot and killed by National Park Service rangers at
the scene after it charged them.
refused requests to release the audiotape, but said it
convinced them the two people had been killed by a bear.
Speculation about whether a bear had actually done the
killing had been fueled by Treadwell's oft-stated but
unsubstantiated claim that he spent summers at Katmai to
protect the bears from poachers and sport hunters.
lifeguard,'' he told a reporter for The Davis (Calif.)
Enterprise in 1999. "I'm there to keep the poachers
and sport hunters away. I'm much more likely to be killed
by an angry sport hunter than a bear.''
The Kaflia Bay area of
Alaska's Gulf Coast -- where Treadwell spent most of his
time in the state -- has long been closed to sport
hunters, and Katmai rangers said there is no history of
poachers killing bears in the area.
When bears die, they are
usually killed by other brown bears, said park
superintendent Deb Liggett, noting that 90 percent of the
cubs each year are killed, and often eaten, by other brown
bears. Adult bears sometimes kill each other there, too.
In this case, Wilkinson
said, troopers are confident a bear was also responsible
for killing the Malibu couple. Troopers are also
convinced, he added, that the bear seen feeding on their
bodies was the bear killed by Park Service rangers. There
is no way, however, of knowing whether that bear or
another shot by troopers at the scene did the actual
One of the rangers shot
the brown bear with his service semi-auto .40-caliber
pistol twelve times when the animal charged at them
through the dense brush. The bear finally fell only 12
feet from the ranger, as two other rangers stood at the
ready with shotguns. "We may have cut that a little
thin," one of the other rangers said. [Ed. Note:
ya think?!] Troopers and rangers later killed a
smaller bear apparently stalking them.
The tape full of screams
and rustling sounds details the attack, Wilkinson said,
but adds little to explain exactly what happened or why.
The tape, he said, lasts about three minutes. Scratching
and dragging noises on it have led troopers to believe
Treadwell might have been wearing a body mike when the
After Treadwell calls for
help, Wilkinson said, Huguenard can be heard shouting
"play dead.'' That is the recommended response to
being grabbed by a brown or grizzly bear, but authorities
stress the idea of playing dead should be abandoned if the
bear continues to press the attack.
On the tape, shortly
after the warning to "play dead,'' Wilkinson said,
"Huguenard is heard to scream "fight back.''
Treadwell later yells "hit him with a pan,''
Wilkinson said. [Ed. Note: that'll send him running!]
After that, the tape
goes dead, as did Treadwell. Because there are no
pictures, troopers believe it is most likely the bear came
in the night. The tent in which Treadwell and Huguenard
had been camping showed no signs of being ripped open by a
bear trying to attack people inside, but a friend of
Treadwell's said it was common for him to leave the tent
in the dark to confront bears that approached his camp.
Apparently Treadwell treated bears like local neighbor
teenagers with toilet paper rolls in hand.
"His way of
operating was to get out of the tent immediately when he
heard a bear around,'' Juneau filmmaker Joel Bennett said
Wednesday. "He subscribed to the theory that the
worst thing you could do was stay in the tent. Obviously
the bears thought differently."
Bennett knew the
flamboyant Treadwell well. Only two weeks before
Treadwell's death they had spent weeks on Kodiak Island
working on a Disney film about bears.
"You probably know
that I've done three full-length films with him,'' Bennett
said. "There's no question he had a remarkable
repertoire with bears and had a remarkable ability for
them to tolerate him ... (but) just so people don't get
the wrong idea, Tim definitely knew there were bears out
there that were bad medicine. One apparently thought he
would be tasty."
sounds to me like it had nothing to do with his work
during the day to look at bears or photograph bears. It
was a campsite situation. I think he was quite an idiot,
and paid for it with his life.''
Dozens of scientists,
bear guides and outdoor authorities who have spent their
lives around Alaska's bruins have criticized Treadwell's
daytime activities. The Californian had a seemingly
overwhelming need to get close to bears, and may have
harbored fetish feelings towards the bears.
"He was a strange
dude,'' said Joe Darminio, a former guide at the Newhalen
Lodge who used to take bear-viewing tourists to meet
Treadwell. "I had a feeling that he would become a
meal to one of those bears sooner or later. They are
bears, man, what do you expect?" Many of the
tourists, Darminio added, recognized Treadwell from
television or his book, "Among Grizzlies -- Living
with Wild Bears in Alaska.''
Opinions among the
tourists were split on whether Treadwell's bear-stalking
antics were crazy, but Darminio said there was agreement
the blond Californian in the black Carhartt's with the
bandana tied around his head like a pirate was
It was hard to avoid
being shocked or impressed by the fearless way he eased up
to within feet of some of the most powerful predators on
the continent. During peak bear mating season, Treadwell
would often go naked and smear Smucker'sŪ Raspberry Jam
over his bare buttocks and taunt the males in the area.
Treadwell said he could calm them by talking in his
high-pitched sing-song voice and tell from their body
language whether they posed any overt sexual threat.
"He really thought
he was a beasty version of Dian Fossey in that way,'' Bennett said.
"She could have been killed by one swipe of a gorilla
at any time. Dian Fossey got close to the gorillas. She
touched them. But she never got naked and presented her
them, for Christ's sake. Timmy did not encourage other
people to do this, but he seriously enjoyed it. He says
over and over in his films, 'Do not do this. Do not copy
me. I am Lono.' It's obviously not something people should
do, but it's something that he did. And I think he really
got off on it."
Huguenard was exposed to
Treadwell's daring antics at a grizzly bear anal-Smucker'sŪ
presentation in Boulder, Colo. A graduate of the
University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine
with a degree in molecular biology from the University of
Colorado in Boulder, she knew trying to get close to brown
bears was dangerous, but went along with Treadwell anyway,
despite the sexual innuendos.
"It was part of her
life,'' sister Kathie Stowell told The Times' newspaper in
their old hometown of Valparaiso, Ind. "They had a
bear passion and that overrode everything. I have a
feeling that the bears had a passion for them too,
especially when they enticed them with raspberry jam on
their private parts like that."
died, according to her, in the most beautiful, pristine
place on earth. They were both lunatics and deviants, but
at least they died doing what they loved. I am sure God is
frowning on the whole thing, though.''
Editor's Note: some of
the statements in this story may or may not be true,
and are meant as parody.
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