Filmmaker's 'Lost' Footage Reveals His Final Moments Alive
By Bianca Piazza
Filmmaker Timothy Treadwell chronicled his extraordinary life among the Alaskan Grizzly bears — animals he claimed were gentle giants. In fact, the bear documentarian was known to chant: "I am grizzly... I am grizzly," not knowing that "grisly" would later be the word used to describe his final moments. Sadly, the tragic scene caught on tape and gave definitive proof of what really happened to Treadwell when he met his end in the wild.
Meet Timothy Treadwell
California resident Timothy Treadwell's fascination with grizzly bears was like no other, and it's his passion for the not-so cuddly creatures that got him into environmentalism and documentary filmmaking in the first place. It all began when the blonde-haired outdoorsman started camping along Alaska's Katmai Coast at Katmai National Park circa the summers of the 1980s.
He initially watched the grizzlies from afar while camping in the “Big Green” area of Hallo Bay; but something inside him just knew he had to find a way to get closer, to observe them in HD, so to speak. This is when Timothy started camping in the much-more rugged Kaflia Bay.
The area was thicker and woodier, making it the perfect spot to get up close and personal with some bears, which was a dream for Timothy. Because there was little open land, Timothy would follow grizzly trails and hide in the vegetation. As dangerous as this was, Timothy wasn't done pushing his luck.
Up-close and personal
The area surrounding the Kaflia Bay became Timothy's favorite place, as he'd get so up-close and personal with the giant mammals that he'd literally touch them and even play with the cubs. He made sure to film all of his astonishing interactions with the grizzlies, some of which weighed up to an alarming 1,000 pounds.