It was 1967 and author Stephen Herrero had just finished his graduate work at Berkeley when he and his wife took their family on vacation, going to visit several of the great national parks. They were on their way to Glacier when the news broke that grizzlies had killed two women there, in separate incidents. From that point on, Herrero would become fascinated by grizzly attacks and set out to learn all he could about them, collecting data about attacks dating back to the days of Lewis and Clark. Eventually, he would become such an expert that he would be called in to investigate bear attacks and hired by national parks to advise them on how to prevent attacks (by situating hiking trails through areas that bears do not frequent, for example).
In this book, Herrero describes in detail individual bear attacks. He discusses cases in which hikers or park rangers suddenly came upon bears. He also devotes a chapter exclusively to what scientists term provoked attacks, meaning that the person attacked had either harassed a bear or approached one. Herrero discusses why the number of bear attacks at national parks increased in the midtwentieth century (bears were coming to garbage dumps). A great deal of this book has to do with how park managers can help manage bear populations and how hikers and campers can avoid bear attacks.
This report prepared by Ann Gaines