If you saw a bear in the wild, what would you do? Resist the urge to approach, marvel from afar – at least, that’s the advice Maria would provide from her own experience. Dutch-born Maria spent her teenage years growing up in California, where she was never far from the marvelous yet terrifying grizzly bear. She now spends her spare time skydiving, bouldering, and practicing competition archery. She has a little bear of her own at home now, a chow named Mein, which doubles as a wrestling partner and memento of what sparked her lifelong love of nature.