Test post by Becky

Climate change wasn’t yet a fixture of mainstream media reporting, Western’s student newspaper was still printing a new issue almost every day, and Gloria Dickie, BA’12, was kick-starting her writing career by covering the story of a southwestern Ontario man attacked by his tiger.

More than a decade later, Dickie is now an award-winning environmental journalist with Reuters in London, U.K. and awaiting the release of her first book.

Eight Bears: Mythic Past and Imperiled Future will be released July 11.  

Always an animal lover, Dickie joked she’s been on the “charismatic megafauna” beat – writing about those large animals over 100 pounds – ever since that first story about exotic animal ownership rules, after Norman Buwalda was killed by a Siberian tiger he kept on his rural property in Elgin County. 

Dickie has traded tigers for another species in recent years, though, travelling the world to follow the bears – or as she says, “follow the scientists following the bears.” 

They’re the focus of Dickie’s upcoming book and a journey that led her to China, the Andes, the Arctic and other remote locations to find her subjects.  

“I grew up in London, Ont., which does not have any bears,” Dickie said with a chuckle. “I used to spend hours photographing squirrels in the backyard, that was the closest thing we have to wildlife. I was very enamoured with the prospect and idea of big animals that we did not have.”