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GRIZZLY-LOVER KILLED AND EATEN BY A BEAR; 'Close-up' film-maker dies with girlfriend.

Byline: MARK ELLIS, Foreign Editor

AN eco-warrior and his girlfriend have been found mauled to death by the bears he loved.

Timothy Treadwell, who won a cult following by crossing bear country without weapons, may have been partly eaten by one of his attackers.

The two bodies were spotted at a camp site in a remote national park in Alaska by the pilot of an air-taxi.

He saw a brown bear sitting on one of the victims, eating flesh. The remains were retrieved by rangers, who first killed two bears menacing them as they approached the scene.

Treadwell, 46, a former drug addict from California, was the founder of Grizzly People, an organisation for the protection of bears and their habitat.

The film-maker was captured on camera dozens of times going up to the beasts and chanting, "I love you.''

His girlfriend was named as Amie Huguenard, 37.

They were found in the Katmai National Park, near Kaflia Bay, 300 miles from Achorage.

Treadwell had been warned for years that his close-up encounters with huge brown bears would end in disaster.

Park superintendent Deb Liggett said: "The last time I saw Timothy, I told him to be safe, and that none of my staff would ever forgive him if they had to kill a bear because of him.

"This is unfortunate but I'm not surprised.

"It really wasn't a matter of if, it was just a matter of when.''

Roland Dixon, a businessman and one of Treadwell's benefactors, said: "His attitude was that if something like this were to happen, it would probably be his fault.''

It is the first fatal attack for at least 15 years in a region famed as one of the best sites for viewing brown bears feasting on salmon.

Treadwell, whose work features on the website of actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio, claimed to have conquered drugs by living in the wild. He co-wrote a book called Among Grizzlies and told of an encounter with a bear close to the spot where he died.

He named the creature Demon..."the one that tolerates no man or bear, that kills without bias".

Treadwell said: "I had thought Demon was going to kill me in the Grizzly Maze.''

He survived and kept going back to the area. He also spent spending three to four months along the Katmai coast, filming, watching and talking to the bears - the larger coastal cousins of the authentic grizzly.

-THE man who reared a tiger in his New York flat was bailed by a court yesterday on a charge of reckless endangerment.

Antoine Yates, 31, who wants to be reunited with 400lb Ming, was bitten in the arm and leg as he tried to stop the tiger attacking his kitten.


DANGEROUS: A huge brown bear of the kind observed by Treadwell; WRITER: His book
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 9, 2003
Previous Article:GRIZZLY LOVER KILLED AND EATEN BY A BEAR; `Close-up' film-maker dies with girlfriend.

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