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The bear whisperer

Lacy Atalick, staff writer

September 9, 2010 — Meet one New Brunswick man who prepares for the winter with some unusual friends - bears.

Not afraid to get close
Not afraid to get close

Most people would run the other way at their first encounter with a bear. Richard Goguen did just the opposite.

He is known as the bear whisperer, and for a good reason. Not only can he talk to wild animals, he has close bear buddies.

“I think the first day I ever whispered to a bear was my teddy bear.”

But after befriending one lonely cub 10 years ago, he is now a known face amongst bears in his area.

“Really they introduced me into their family -- that's what I think,” Goguen said.

The first bear he befriended was an abandoned cub, named Pooch.

The bears are this man's friends
The bears are this man's friends

But as the temperatures became colder, Goguen feared that their friendship would be cut short. He also didn't know if Pooch would survive a cold winter alone.

“Winter came and I thought she was going to die cause she was alone a little cub,” he said.

But the next spring, like a miracle Pooch reconnected with her old friend.

“I was excited because I said, 'Hey, you made it through the winter,' and she was excited to see me. And things went on.”

Ten years later, Goguen is almost like a grandfather to Pooch's entire family.

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