Only eight bear species are known to science: The American black bear; the grizzly; the polar bear; the South American spectacled bear; Asias sun bear, moon bear, and sloth bear; and the Chinese panda. The moon bears lineage (most similar to that of the American black bear) as black-coated mountain dwellers had never been challengeduntil author Sy Montgomery and her scientific colleagues turned up a new golden form.
In Montgomerys new book, Search for the Golden Moon Bear, she travels to the home of the moon bear in Southeast Asia, to track down what she hopes might be a new species of bear. What she finds is less than hopeful; bears kept in cages, often starving and neglected, their paws a culinary delicacy, their organs used for medicine. Yet Montgomery creates a hopeful narrative that weaves folklore, natural history, and scientific research into an evocative journey. Sy Montgomery is, according to Book Magazine, A modern miracle. Bawdy, brave, inventive, prophetic, hell bent on loving this planet.
Throughout the month of August, Living on Earth Today will feature daily installments of Montgomery reading her book.
Part 1 A First Encounter: The Golden Moon Bear
Part 2 The Magic Ingredient
Part 3 Lost Worlds
All photos by Sy Montgomery, Gary J. Galbreath, and Dianne Taylor-Snow
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