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The Blue Bear

The Blue Bear

Author(s): Lynn Schooler

Location(s): Juneau

Genre(s): Autobiography/Memoirs, Travelogue

Era(s): 20th Century

His body twisted by adolescent scoliosis, Lynn Schooler’s soul was scarred from the loneliness of someone who, at an early age, stood ‘at a strange angle to the rest of the world’. He made a life on the slim crescent of remote Alaskan coastline surrounding the city of Juneau, a place where he was least likely to encounter people. In 1990, celebrated Japanese photographer Michio Hoshino hired Schooler to help him shoot a segment on humpback whales in Glacier Bay, and the two formed a profound friendship. Their conversations often revolved around the glacier bear (known as the blue bear for its unique granite-coloured fur), a nearly extinct creature so rare that it is shrouded in legend. Together, the two men became obsessed with finding the animal, every year searching through Ice-Age vistas to capture the blue bear on film. Their obsession cost Hoshino his life when he was killed by a grizzly bear – but alone in the eighth year, Schooler finally found and photographed the elusive creature

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