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Brutus: my 800-pound friend

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From my very first encounter, I've been fascinated by these amazing animals. The more I learned, the more I wanted to tell their story. and the little known tale of these Yellowstone grizzlies is truly one (...) For my passion goes beyond observing these bears in the wild. You see, my feelings towards grizzlies are a bit different than most people. Maybe because my best friend weights ...oh, about 800 pounds. That's him there. He's a brown bear named Brutus and I've raised him since birth. Let me explain how it all started. I was born in Helena, Montana, in 1975. The same year The Yellowstone grizzly bear was added to the endangered species list. Growing up surrounded by the Montana wilderness, it's no surprise I quickly learned about all our local wildlife. By Montana standards, this bear was very tame. Passport to college, there, I study biology, I got more and more engaged in the wild sort of things. This is "Patches" the wolverine. And here's "Hershey", "Okey" and "Brokey", three river otters I got to know well. In the winter, I ran a team of sled dogs . Anything to be outside and working with animals. Before I knew it, I was the curator of a wildlife park, visiting an elephant orphanage in Kenya, and hanging out with some amazing crocodiles. And yes, these jobs come with their occasional bumps and bruises. Like the time when a mountain lion gave me a pretty good scratch. But, hey, if it's your passion, you lick your wounds and turn the corner. And that led me straight to Brutus. Here he is about five months old. Throughout my life I've been called "the animal magnet" because animals always seem to find me. But with Brutus, well, it seems like we picked one another. Sort of like-friends on the playground. And we've been going strong ever since. When Brutus entered our house, we built the sanctuary and started attracting visitors of all ages to teach them all about grizzly bear biology and conservation. Brutus is a born performer, so we began filming him as part of our educational mission. Here he stars in a picnic raid in a public service video. As you can see round and the movie says here we're demonstrating why it's so important to keep a clean camp in grizzly country. Brutus has been a huge part of my life. He sort of like, well he actually was, my best man. Today, Brutus is six years old, in the prime of his life. And at this point, we've been pals for so long that we've developed a unique relationship. What that means is a lot of interaction: playing tag and some play of wrestling. I even get an occasional grizzly kiss. All Things that we would never think about doing in ordinary circumstances. In fact, the trust and respect that allow us to be this close is simply one of a kind. In other words, do not try this in your home.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 26 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: National Geographic
Views: 762
Posted by: bontips on Nov 13, 2010

Casey Anderson has raised and taken care of Brutus since he was five months old. Here he tells his story.

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