Montanan will talk about life lessons he learned working with bears

Staff reportFebruary 2, 2014 

Casey Anderson and Brutus.

COURTESY CASEY ANDERSON

Casey Anderson will talk about his experience working with bears in the next installment of National Geographic Live on Friday in Olympia.

Anderson is the host of the television programs “America the Wild With Casey Anderson” and “Expedition Wild.”

Those who knew Anderson while he grew up in East Helena, Mont., are not surprised he found a career working with animals. After all, he was nicknamed “the animal magnet” in high school.

After college, Anderson became an animal keeper and trainer at wildlife parks, traveling to elephant orphanages in Kenya, dealing with crocodiles, even getting thrashed by a mountain lion.

His career path, and life, took a turn when he became involved with a baby girzzly bear named Brutus. Born at an overpopulated wildlife park, Brutus was rescued from being euthanized by Anderson.

In 2004, Anderson founded and built the Montana Grizzly Encounter in Bozeman, Mont. The facility serves as a home for rescued bears and a place to educate the public. Brutus is now a star himself, assisting in teaching park visitors about grizzly anatomy and conservation.

His ongoing work with bears, in particular with Brutus, led to Anderson being more involved in producing film for television during the last 16 years. He first served as an expert, then later on an on-camera host. Anderson and Brutus have appeared together in the Nat Geo Wild series “Expedition Wild” and “America the Wild.” The two also helped Anderson discuss the plight of an “island” population of bears in Yellowstone National Park for the National Geographic Channel show “Expedition Grizzly.”

During his presentation, he will tell stories from the field and the lessons he has learned living and working with wild animals. Anderson said those experiences have made him a better person and have nurtured in him a passion to help preserve the planet.

“There’s a danger in anthropomorphizing animals ... but I also believe that there’s a danger in not recognizing them as individuals,” Anderson said in a news release.

The three-part series will conclude March 7, with “The Photographic Life.” Sam Abell will talk about the inner and outer life of a National Geographic photographer.

Bear With Me

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia

Tickets: Adults, $18-$26; students, seniors and military, $16-$23; and youth, $9-$13. Available at washingtoncenter. org or by calling the box office at 360-753-858.

Info: Learn about the Montana Grizzly Encounter at grizzly encounter.org.

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