From the Greek legend of Callisto to Winnie-the-Pooh and Yogi, bears have long been a rich source of imagery, myth, story and legend. Bear looks at the history of this magnificent animal in nature and in culture--a history that covers 22 million years. The book draws on traditions and cultures around the world, including the ceremonies and taboos that surround the hunting, killing and eating of bears. It discusses the bear as the subject of stories, songs, cartoons and films; as exhibits in pits, circuses and zoos; and also as toys. The book concludes by considering the precarious future of the bear, threatened as it is by loss of habitats, disease, pollution and poaching for the medicinal trade.