Else Poulsen

Barle's Story

The award-winning zookeeper and author of Smiling Bears shares her account of rescuing and rehabilitating a bear held in a Caribbean circus.
When a nineteen-year-old female polar bear named Barle is rescued from the inhumane conditions of a circus in the Caribbean and flown to safety in Detroit, zookeeper Else Poulsen—renowned throughout the world for her work rehabilitating abused bears—is on hand to meet her and help her on the road to recovery and self-discovery. Thus begins Barle’s gradual introduction into the world of polar bears. Slowly she forges relationships with the other bears in the zoo and eventually mates with a young male and successfully raises a cub. By living in a caring, enriched environment focused on her welfare, Barle is able to recover from the trauma she had suffered at the circus and develop skills that are important to thriving as a polar bear. As Poulsen documents, however, not all captive bears are so fortunate. Augmented with black-and-white photographs, Barle’s Story provides a rich and moving portrayal of a remarkable bear and of the author’s inspiring work to help her discover her true polar bear ways.
Praise for Barle’s Story
“This intelligent, stark, and gently humorous book makes one think that if all animals were listened to in the way that…Poulsen listens to bears, our children would inherit an infinitely kinder and safer world that the one they enjoy now.” —Dr. Jill Robinson MBE, founder and CEO, Animals Asia Foundation
“At once deeply heart-wrenching, heart-warming, and heartful. Read this wonderful book and share it widely.” —Dr. Marc Bekoff, author of Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed
297 printed pages
Original publication
Publication year
Have you already read it? How did you like it?
Drag & drop your files (not more than 5 at once)