Exhibition ‘David & Kodiak’

For the first time David Bittners spectacular photographs are being displayed to a large audience from the 24th of November 2009 until the 10th January 2010 in an exhibition at the Natural History Museum in Berne. The special exhibition called ‘David & Kodiak’ also shows unusual background information. At the back of the hall, a very authentic film is being shown about David’s everyday life in the wilderness among the bears and in the middle of the hall surrounded by an electric fence people get a look at David’s camp, including his tent, kayak and other essential equipment. With the natural sounds of the film visiors get a touch of how biologist David Bittner was lucky enough to capture the extraordinary photographs being displayed on the walls. On November 21st nearly 500 people listened to the variable talks and speeches of the director of the museum, Marcel Günthert, head of town council Alexander Tschäppet and biologist and autors Reinhard Schnidrig and David Bittner.

Reinhard Schnidrig, head of the department of fisheries, hunting, wildlife and forest biodiversity at the federal environmental office in Berne talked about the return of brown bears to Switzerland and how a peaceful living side by side with bears could be possible even in our heavily populated cultural landscape here in Switzerland. However, he also mentioned the limits and talked about bears like JJ3, that was accustomed to human food resources by his mother, where the killing was the only reasonable action to be taken. In a very authentic and personal fasion Schnidrig describes these situation and stories in the book that was published together with David Bittner.

Head of city council Alexander Tschäppät talked about the unique relationship between the people of Berne and the bear, which goes back for several hundreds of years, which is the reason for the bear being the heraldic animal of Berne. He also talked about this special exhibition that was realized by chief decorator Claude Kuhn and David Bittner himself, that is not simply a photographic gallery, but much more than that. Visitors will get a very well understanding under which circumstances the pictures on the walls have been taken.

In the middle of the hall is a replicat of David Bittner’s camp in Alaska. The pictures surround a certain theme or individual bear, e.g. there are portraits of Balu, Bala, Luna, Luunie and Bruno.

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