Just Fashion Now (UK)
Just Fashion Now (UK)

Born a Wildlife Warrior! 74-Year-Old Joel Rosenthal Lives a Long Life Dream by Living with His Five Bears; Says ‘Nothing in This World Can Top Going for an Hour Hike with a Bear.’

by Asad

The existence of wildlife and wilderness is significant to the quality of life of humans. And this is exactly what former biologist Joel Rosenthal believes in! 

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This astonishing man has accomplished his life mission – by hiking with his pet bears through the magnificent horizons of wilderness. The nature fanatic, 74, lives with five black bears at a farm known as Point of View, in West Virginia. And Joel can go on months without seeing another human being.


Joel Rosenthal kisses one of his bear cubs during their hike through the wilderness. (Source: Ruaridh Connellan / Barcroft Images)

Rosenthal embraces the idea that it’s not whether animals will survive, it’s whether a man has the will to protect them. Rosenthal has been saving young black bears for seven years, nurturing them inside his very house and watching over them in hunting season.

Moreover, he feeds them with his own hands and sometimes sleeps with them in their homemade enclosures.

Old Joel has such a beautiful bond with his wild animals that he can now fearlessly take them for a hike in the thick forest on daily basis. He claims that nothing beats it.

Joel told Barcroft TV, “Nothing in this world – not sex, not food, not a good night sleep can top going for an hour hike with a bear. Nobody else in the world can do this, nobody else in the world does this.”

“I take naps with them, we play in the house, we get fed in the house and as they grow – they move to larger facilities outside.”

He described the special bond he shares with the bears:

“It’s really special to be able to hike around with two or three bear cubs that are just following me. I really have to pinch myself all the time because I can’t believe I’m doing this – that I have this relationship with these animals.”


Joel feeds one of his bears in a tree. (Source: Ruaridh Connellan / Barcroft Images)

Joel’s first bear came under his care in 2009. Ever since then, people often approach the 74-year-old when they see some wounded or abandoned animals, hoping that Joel will provide a shelter to them.

Once the hunting season has come to an end and the bears are old enough, the nature-lover frees them back where they belong; to the wild.

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Joel revealed, “They don’t go off and become a nuisance, they don’t break into people’s homes, they don’t attack people – they just go off and become wild bears which is exactly what they are genetically programmed to do.”

“I consider bears to be very, very safe but all the statistics bail that out, regardless of anything that I am prejudiced about.”

He then explained some of his essential points:

“In North America over the last 100 years plus, I believe that there are 60 or 70 documented cases of black bears actually killing anybody.”

“I have never been attacked by a bear. I mean we are talking about a 200 or 300 pound animal that is stronger than 10 human beings and quicker than a rattle snake and yet here I am as the doting mother trying to discipline a huge linebacker.”


74-year-old lies on the floor and waits to play with his pet bears. (Source: Ruaridh Connellan / Barcroft Images)

For the most part, Joel feeds his pets with meat. However, they sometimes love to have peanut butter.

Living on an abandoned side of a massive river, Joel mostly keeps himself isolated from the world with his extraordinary animals.

He said, “I’m the only one living on this side of the river for miles. I live all alone. I live miles from the nearest human being and I am a happy camper.”

He added, “I want the bears to get used to me, I want them to become bound to me so that we have this special relationship which makes the entire process of raising them and eventually releasing them a lot easier.”

Joel then stated, “I prefer any animal to humans!”

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Animal lover with a grey fox Mink. (Source: Ruaridh Connellan / Barcroft Images)

After releasing almost 15 bears to the wilderness over these seven years, the humble man still cares for them. His love for the incredible species is spectacular!

The bear man said, “My guess is that almost all of them have been killed by hunters. It’s very, very cruel. It’s not just a matter of shooting and making a clean kill on a bear.”

He added, “It’s barbaric in a way. I try to separate my emotions from it.”

Joel’s stunning lifestyle has gained a remarkable attraction from the animal enthusiasts. He now has thousands of followers on Facebook who adore his adventurous daily expeditions.

He told the channel, “I get a lot of attention on my Facebook page.”

“There are people from all over the world who now follow the exploits that happen here at Point of View Farm.”


The ‘bear man’ goes on a hike with three bears. (Source: Ruaridh Connellan / Barcroft Images)

He believes that teaching people about wildlife can touch their hearts. And that humans should have the will to save things they love.

He lastly said, “There is no doubt that my caring for, interacting with and releasing bears into the environment has been very, very special.”

“I mean I’m 74-years-old now. This is the combination of my lifelong dream – to have a place like this and it’s all happening.”

“I have been very lucky in regards to the activation of this dream,” Joel Rosenthal concluded.

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