< Previous Page
Bart ventured over to check out Chadwick while Doug Seus watched from outside the pen.
"He stood up and was looking straight down at me. I looked at the sky and said, ‘This is it, I’m screwed,’ and then he gave me a big lick," Chadwick said. "And then he started shoving me around. Doug told me to shove him back and I was thinking, ‘That sounds brilliant.’ "
How to help
Lights, camera, action
In appearances since the 1970s, animals from Wasatch Rocky Mountain Wildlife in Heber City have been seen in scores of documentaries, commercials, publications from Outdoors to Architectural Digest, television programming and feature films. Among the highlights:
1980s: “Clan of the Cave Bear,” “The Bear” (for which Bart the Bear was recommended by Ernest Gold for an Academy Award in the “special achievement” category.)
1990s: “White Fang,” “Legends of the Fall,” “The Edge”
2000s: “Big Fish,” “Unfinished Life,” “Evan Almighty,” “Into The Wild,” “The Amazing Race”
2010s: “Zookeeper,” “We Bought a Zoo,” “Game of Thrones”
Find a full list of credits at www.bartthebear.com.
Chadwick survived, of course, and quickly became enamored with both Bart and the man who called himself the bear’s soul mate.
Later, during a hike in Montana, the men developed the idea for Vital Ground.
"It was a no-brainer," said Lynne Seus. "For the first time in our life we had some extra money and even though we had planned on using it for retirement, we decided we had the means to make a difference, and we had that means because of Bart."
As Doug Seus put it, "If we hadn’t moved on that opportunity, it would have become something we regretted for the rest of our lives."
‘Seeing a paw print’ » The Seuses believe Big Bart fought cancer as long as he did because he knew something to ease the pain of his loss was awaiting his humans.
When Doug Seus took a call from Alaska wildlife officials in early 2000, he was both excited and anxious.
A poacher had killed a grizzly in the interior of Alaska and left two orphan cubs. Would he take them?
The Seuses already had another grizzly, Tank, but couldn’t bring themselves to ignore the cubs — who joined them as Bart 2, or little Bart, and his sister, Honey Bump.
The Seus family includes the three bears and three wolves — all with impressive credentials in movies, magazines and television productions.
In his 13 years, Bart 2 — all 8 feet, 6 inches and more than 1,100 pounds of him — has appeared on film with Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman, Sam Elliott, Sara Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant while representing, and continuing to help fund, Vital Ground.
That, the Seuses say, is tremendously important to them.
Bears "add a dimension to the outdoors experience that you can only experience in bear country. They take the casualness out of the hike and make you more aware of the entire ecosystem," Doug Seus said. "Whether you love bears or just the natural world, seeing a paw print redefines your day and, sometimes, your life."
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.