Warning: contains details some may find distressing
A documentary maker who flew out to Alaska every year to camp with bears ended up being eaten alive along with his girlfriend by one of the animals, in a harrowing story.
Timothy ‘Grizzly Man’ Treadwell was a bear enthusiast and documentary maker. For 13 years, he would fly out to Alaska every summer to film and camp with the wildlife.
He would chat to, play with and even touch the bears when he visited. He was so fascinated with the animals that he believed he was one of them.
Despite apparently repeatedly being warned by friends and family of the dangers of bears, Treadwell still decided to camp with them every year.
But one year, tragedy struck when Treadwell was killed by one of the bears, as he was mauled to death in front of girlfriend Amie Huguenard in October 2003.
The bear then turned on Huguenard, who was also killed in the incident.
The attack happened just hours before the couple were due to fly back home by seaplane for the winter.
Willy Fulton – who was the couple’s air taxi pilot for the flight home – knew immediately what had happened when he landed at Katmai National Park.
Usually, the couple would be waiting on the shore to be picked up by Fulton, but on this occasion there was an eerie silence and the “meanest looking bear” standing on top of a pile of human remains.
The couple’s tent was torn apart alongside their evening meal that was unopened.
A ranger spotted fingers and an arm in a 3ft-high mound of grass, mud and twigs, alongside other remains.
They also found nearby what was left of Treadwell’s head, which was connected to a small piece of his spine.
The couple always filmed the bear interactions they had, and this occasion was no different.
In the panic as the bear attacked, they hadn’t removed the camera lens.
But the equipment still recorded the audio of the horrific attack, and recorded the final moments of Treadwell’s life.
Unverified audio has been shared on YouTube, which reportedly matches up with the coroner’s report into the tragedy.
The bear was eventually killed as part of rangers’ attempts to retrieve the couple’s remains.
In the years that followed, a documentary about the tragic attack was made by Werner Herzog titled Grizzly Man.
The film was pieced together from Timothy’s actual video footage of the bears, and examined the bear enthusiast’s love of heading to the Alaskan reserve every year.
The biography was critically acclaimed, achieving a 92 percent Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
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