Ben Kilham is a pioneering wildlife biologist and conservationist who has written three books and been the subject of National Geographic and Discovery Channels for the discovery of the social hierarchies that exist among bears, biology, and cooperation.
Ben grew up with parents who were avid wildlife conservationists. In retrospect, he believes his father was also dyslexic.
He grew up in a household that at various times had African hornbills, a Nile crocodile, leopard, fox, and beaver. He learned a lot about wildlife and wildlife rehabilitation, but when he tried to get formal degrees in wildlife biology, he found many obstacles.
” I went to school, you know, from this child who already had an idea of what he wanted to do and how he wanted to do it. And in school, I learned that I couldn’t do any of those things. I learned that science wasn’t about going out and observing things and documenting what you saw and writing about what you saw. Science was about keeping track of quantitative numbers and using statistics and doing all the things I couldn’t do it all. I literally was not capable of calculus, I wasn’t capable of reading quickly. “
Ben did go to college as an art student, and he almost flunked out. Ultimately he found his footing and graduated although his GRE’s were too low for a graduate degree.
His work as a wildlife rehabilitator led wildlife officials in his state to contact him about raising two orphan bear cubs…and that was what lead to his expertise in bears. Ben Kilham’s website here: https://kilhambearcenter.org