Noted author, filmmaker advocates for grizzlies that saved his life

Editor’s note

This story is part of the Lee Enterprises series “Grizzlies and Us.” The project examines the many issues surrounding the uneasy coexistence of grizzly bears and humans in the Lower 48, which have come  into focus in recent years as the federallyprotected animal pushes farther into human-occupied areas. The 10-part series, comprised of more than 20 stories, was produced by outdoor reporters and photojournalists across the Rocky Mountain West.

 

Hallucinating from a malaria attack, 27-year-old Doug Peacock crawled into his tent. His fever spiked at 105.6 degrees as he camped in Yellowstone National Park’s lodgepole pine forest.

“So I was out of my mind, and there were grizzly bears around,” he recalled, harking back to 1968 as he sat at his dining room table recently. That was the year Peacock returned from Vietnam where he served as a Green Beret medic.

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“I saw the tracks, I knew they were around, but I wasn’t sure if they were real or not,” he said.

As the fever subsided, Peacock struck out to explore the area, soaking in hot springs until he was lobster red and fever free. Not far from where he camped, he

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