Lewiston students hear author's story about raising "Buffy" a black bear

LEWISTON, ID - An award-winning author and former black bear owner visited Lewiston Wednesday, to tell students about the importance of reading and education.

Ben Mikaelsen lives in Montana, but his writing has brought him all over the world. He shared several amazing stories, many of which inspired his successful books. His adopted black bear, Buffy has also been one of those inspirations. He adopted Buffy because if he didn't, the cub would have been killed. It was after learning some other bear cubs he had tried to rescue had been killed that he wrote Rescue Josh McGuire.

"I wrote Rescue Josh McGuire because it was a mandate, it was an emotion, it was something that came up to me, grabbed me and shook me and said you'll write me down and address me as an issue or I won't let you sleep a day until you do," said Mikaelsen.

After having Buffy for 26 years, the bear died in 2010. While Mikaelsen said he loved to write in Buffy's den, his death hasn't kept him from writing about other issues from Gorilla warfare to living with cerebral palsy.

For more information on his books and life with Buffy, visit