The Kodiak Bear: Background information when reading Tip of the Iceberg

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Tip of the Iceberg

My 3,000-Mile Journey Around Wild Alaska, the Last Great American Frontier

by Mark Adams

Tip of the Iceberg by Mark Adams X
Tip of the Iceberg by Mark Adams
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  • First Published:
    May 2018, 336 pages
    May 2019, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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The Kodiak Bear

This article relates to Tip of the Iceberg

In Tip of the Iceberg, author Mark Adams sets out to follow in the footsteps of Edward Harriman's 1899 expedition to Alaska. Harriman's expedition is remembered for the important scientific findings gathered by the more than 30 scientists, artists and writers who accompanied him, but for Harriman himself, the focus was primarily on hunting bear. He eventually bagged his prize – a female Kodiak bear on Kodiak Island, much to the disgust of fellow traveler John Muir.

The Kodiak bear was identified as a unique subspecies of grizzly bear (aka "brown bear") by C. Hart Merriam, another member of the Harriman expedition, in 1896. They are the largest of the brown bears; an average male ("boar") stands five feet at the shoulder (10 feet tall when on its hind legs) and can weigh in at 1500 pounds, with females ("sows") averaging 20% smaller and 30% lighter than males. The only place on earth they can be found in the wild is the Kodiak Archipelago, a group of islands south of the ...

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