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Canadian man claims bears 'adopted him'

Standing more than 6ft tall and weighing up to 600lbs, it is easy to see why the average person might flee if they ever encountered a black bear in the Canadian woods. 

But not Richard Goguen, 57, who claims to have formed a deep connection with the animals, and now gives tours of New Brunswick woodland, promising he can lure them out of hiding.

 

His bond with them is so intense that he is widely known as 'The Bear Whisperer', getting close enough to feed the wild animals out of the palm of his hand. 

Bond: Richard Goguen, 57, from New Brunswick, Canada, has become known as the bear whisperer because of his close relationship with the area's black bear population

Bond: Richard Goguen, 57, from New Brunswick, Canada, has become known as the bear whisperer because of his close relationship with the area's black bear population

Friendly: Mr Goguen claims to have made friends with the bears as a child when he came across one while playing hide and seek, and says the bond continues today
 

Friendly: Mr Goguen claims to have made friends with the bears as a child when he came across one while playing hide and seek, and says the bond continues today

Up close: Mr Goguen now uses his talents to give bear tours of the New Brunswick woodlands, and guarantees visitors a sighting
 
 

Up close: Mr Goguen now uses his talents to give bear tours of the New Brunswick woodlands, and guarantees visitors a sighting

Bear whisperer shares unique bond with the creatures
 
 
 

He said: 'They are friends to me and I am friends to them. We get along very well and they seem extremely comfortable around me.'

Richard says his unique connection with the bears goes back to when he was a small boy and a fearsome black bear approached him while he was playing a game of 'hide and seek'

He said: 'I was playing with my friends in the woods when I was around five or six; I was hiding from them when a bear came up behind me.

'I just did not feel scared. The bear came up to me like I was its mother. It was like I made a new friend there and then.'

 
 
 

At home: Mr Goguen says he has never been afraid of the deadly animals and gets along with them because they are comfortable around one another

Gifted: While playing hide and seek Mr Goguen says he came across a bear who walked over to him 'like it was my mother' and that he has not been afraid of them since
 

Gifted: While playing hide and seek Mr Goguen says he came across a bear who walked over to him 'like it was my mother' and that he has not been afraid of them since

Richard now runs the 'Little, Big Bear Safari' in New Brunswick with his wife Vivienne, where tourists can get a closer-than-ever look at the province's bears as they flock to Richard. 

He said: 'I did not like the idea at first, but I did not have a job at the time and I needed work so I got my guiding license and gave it a try.

'Word started to spread about how close we were able to get and slowly more and more people started to come and see.'

Patient: Mr Goguen says experience has taught him how far he can take his abilities with bears, adding that there have been a few aggressive moments
 

Patient: Mr Goguen says experience has taught him how far he can take his abilities with bears, adding that there have been a few aggressive moments

Predators: Standing more than 6ft tall and weighing up to 600lbs, black bears are formidable predators, though they usually won't attack humans unless provoked
 

Predators: Standing more than 6ft tall and weighing up to 600lbs, black bears are formidable predators, though they usually won't attack humans unless provoked

Whilst he admits there have been episodes of aggression in the past, Richard says he knows his limits when it comes to testing the animals' patience.

He said: 'I do not get scared, after all I have been working with and studying these animals my whole life. I know what I can do with them and I know the limits.

'They also know what they can do with me and, all in all, they are very comfortable. I think this is because I am seen to be nice to them and they can feel that; they know I am not a threat.'

 

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