SI Vault
Edited By Sarah Pileggi
August 29, 1977
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
August 29, 1977


View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4 5

"They both shot 80."


Marauding bears are an occupational hazard to workers at oil-drilling sites in the Canadian north. When a bear killed an Imperial Oil Ltd. employee in 1975, the company sought out Dan Wooldridge, a 29-year-old biologist at British Columbia's Simon Fraser University who had been doing research for some time into methods of protecting people against predators without killing the animals.

With a grant from Imperial, Wooldridge made recordings of the sounds of brown, black and Kodiak bears fighting over pieces of meat at the Olympic Game Farm in Sequim, Wash. Experimenting with bears in captivity, he found that by amplifying real and simulated bear sounds to the 120-decibel range, he could produce uneasiness followed very quickly by outright fright.

"The idea," says Wooldridge, "is to make the bear think the world's largest bear is just over the hill."

In the first practical test of his sound system—a cassette player, a ring of speakers mounted on posts, a powerful amplifier and a network of trip wires—at a drilling site in the Northwest Territories, an approaching bear turned and bolted when he was 600 yards from the camp.

Now that Wooldridge has taught Imperial Oil to roar back at bears, he has turned to the protection of backpackers. He is at work right now on a mini-pack of spray repellents, for use on bears, coyotes and wolves, that can be attached to a hiker's belt. Volunteers will surely be welcomed for the testing phase.

Jack Nicklaus II, a tall, skinny 15-year-old, was one of 119 golfers who played 36 holes on Monday, Aug. 15 at the Almaden Golf Club in San Jose, Calif., trying to qualify for the U.S. Amateur. His 79-85 was not good enough, but that he—or anybody else—finished at all was commendable. The field was too large, and there were organizational problems that caused the 36 holes to drag on for 11� hours. Alongside Jackie every step of the way were Jack I, who had finished 72 holes at Pebble Beach only the day before; Barbara, who had, too, but outside the ropes; and Angelo Argea, the world's most famous caddie.


Has it been a while since your mind enjoyed a good boggle? Then read about the system that the North American Soccer League established for breaking ties during its two-game, home-and-home series playoffs that ended this week.

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5