There's a peculiar kind of person who enjoys nothing more than to feign fraternity with wild animals. You've seen them on television, stepping gingerly out of the underwater shark cage or sporting a tuxedo of bees, or bopping a hungry crocodile on the snout. Fear does not unbalance the mental see-saw in such people because they over-compensate with a lot of applesauce about needing spiritual detox or the possibility of meaningful communication with beasts of prey.

Bear whisperer Timothy Treadwell was one of those people. An over-the-hill Californian and failed actor, he became a habitué of the feeding grounds of brown bears in Alaska's Kaflia Bay, inside Katmai National Park. By spending inordinate amounts of time in bear world he eventually became a curiosity and even a minor celebrity in human world, appearing on Letterman and other shows as an entertaining bear advocate. Eventually, the day came when the regular air taxi arrived to pick up Treadwell and his girlfriend at their camp and found only pieces of them being guarded by a bear, who had to be shot 11 times before surrendering.