Best Documentary National Geographic Documentary – Wildlife of Alaska – Wildlife Animal [w/ subs]

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00:00:00 – and polar bears my name is Chris Morgan
00:00:06 – I've dedicated half my life to the study
00:00:09 – and conservation of bears
00:00:11 – now I've embarked upon a 3,000 mile
00:00:15 – journey into the heart of the Bears
00:00:17 – world with me my good friend and
00:00:20 – filmmaker Joe Pontecorvo you don't
00:00:23 – notice it's cool until you look at your
00:00:24 – equipment and then you see Frost over
00:00:26 – everything together our goal is to peel
00:00:31 – back the layers of myth and
00:00:33 – misunderstanding on this complex
00:00:35 – creature see that glance I put us in our
00:00:38 – place doing it to better understand
00:00:41 – their personalities all our theories out
00:00:43 – the window to witness firsthand how they
00:00:47 – live today
00:00:50 – and what the future might hold for the
00:00:53 – Bears of the last frontier my journey
00:01:04 – has taken me through the season of the
00:01:05 – brown bear and black bear from an area
00:01:11 – nearly untouched by man
00:01:15 – to the most urban environment in Alaska
00:01:19 – now at the very edge of the North
00:01:21 – American continent a new adventure is
00:01:24 – about to unfold
00:01:26 – [Music]
00:01:30 – I'll leave behind the cold metal and
00:01:33 – steel of Prudhoe Bay and head to the
00:01:38 – home of the polar bear
00:01:40 – [Music]
00:01:50 – my plane touches down on a four-mile
00:01:53 – long windswept strip of land known as
00:01:56 – barter island on the edge of the
00:01:58 – Beaufort Sea fewer than 300 residents
00:02:03 – mostly Inupiat Eskimo call this remote
00:02:06 – island home but they are not alone they
00:02:11 – share this frigid coastline with another
00:02:14 – great hunter
00:02:15 – the polar bear while the rest of the
00:02:24 – Bears have dendup for winter
00:02:26 – polar bears sensed the change in season
00:02:28 – and are anxious for the chill to set in
00:02:37 – polar bears are ice loving creatures
00:02:41 – and from an early age they are drawn to
00:02:43 – it investigating any new formations on
00:02:48 – the water
00:02:52 – [Music]
00:02:54 – you
00:03:00 – what's fascinating to me about these
00:03:03 – polar bears is that they're so finely
00:03:05 – tuned and adapted to life on ice this
00:03:08 – looks like a bear has come right down
00:03:09 – this trail here and he's broken through
00:03:12 – here look his paws actually broken
00:03:14 – through this ice here in fact the ice
00:03:15 – has started to form already
00:03:16 – so therefore ever testing the ice
00:03:19 – conditions to see if it's firm enough
00:03:20 – for them to head out on to and it's not
00:03:22 – yet obviously
00:03:34 – as adults they depend upon ice to hunt
00:03:38 – unlike brown bears polar bears a highly
00:03:41 – specialized carnivores and hunt almost
00:03:44 – exclusively one animal seals
00:03:53 – the ring seal looks nervously around
00:03:56 – exposed on this open expanse
00:03:59 – but without firmer of ice this bear has
00:04:03 – little chance to hunt down the seal
00:04:09 – it's late October and by now the ocean
00:04:12 – should be frozen over but this year
00:04:16 – winter has come late part of the lagoon
00:04:20 – are covered with ice
00:04:21 – but the ocean
00:04:23 – has yet to be tamed for now the Bears
00:04:30 – are trapped on land unable to hunt
00:04:42 – locals call this area the polar bear
00:04:44 – campground
00:04:50 – it's a nursery of sorts a safe haven for
00:04:53 – mothers and young this time of year when
00:04:58 – other polar bears are waiting for sea
00:04:59 – ice to form pregnant females are waiting
00:05:03 – for enough snow to dig their maternity
00:05:05 – dens this whole area in fact is really
00:05:08 – important for Denning females when
00:05:10 – they're pregnant they come and give
00:05:11 – birth in the habitat along this coast
00:05:13 – here near the Arctic National Wildlife
00:05:14 – Refuge so many of the females return to
00:05:24 – the same area to raise their cubs
00:05:32 – they seem to have this recognition where
00:05:34 – the Cubs are playing the females are
00:05:36 – playing and one cub is playing with
00:05:37 – another cub from its it's quite the
00:05:39 – interesting scenario that's going on
00:05:49 – this guy's making a beeline right for us
00:05:51 – actually we've only been here a few
00:05:56 – minutes and already we've attracted some
00:05:59 – attention
00:06:02 – I'm directly upwind from her she's got
00:06:05 – her nose in the air and she can catch my
00:06:07 – scent and she's coming this way we
00:06:12 – probably won't have very long before we
00:06:13 – have to make a hasty retreat you know
00:06:16 – they're the most predatory of the bears
00:06:18 – and there is capable of great speed as
00:06:20 – grizzly bears are you know they can run
00:06:21 – 35 miles an hour so I think it's time to
00:06:33 – get in the boat
00:06:34 – yeah she's moving over here with some
00:06:36 – determination we need to make a retreat
00:06:38 – here you want a jump on Joe yeah it
00:06:44 – looks like it's getting her really
00:06:45 – agitated chicken smells but she can't
00:06:47 – access us she can't figure out if we're
00:06:49 – a meal or not and it's how they live
00:06:51 – their lives they are curious predators
00:06:55 – everything about them is about surviving
00:06:58 – the cold and hunting seals being a
00:07:02 – specialist is the key to surviving the
00:07:04 – Arctic it is true for the Bears as it is
00:07:09 – for the Inupiat Eskimos for centuries
00:07:12 – these two hunters of the Arctic have
00:07:14 – made their living from the ocean the
00:07:18 – lives connected by the animals they hunt
00:07:24 – twice a year in spring and fall the
00:07:27 – Inupiat Eskimos hunt bowhead whales the
00:07:31 – discarded remains are left on this bone
00:07:33 – pile
00:07:35 – [Music]
00:07:45 – seven o'clock in the morning we're out
00:07:48 – on the outskirts of town and there's a
00:07:51 – good spot to wait for bears right here
00:07:53 – because the Bears seem to like coming
00:07:55 – out under the cover of darkness
00:07:56 – sometimes it's a case of waiting a lap
00:07:58 – around a long time for them so that's
00:08:01 – what we're doing right now we'll see if
00:08:03 – any show up fingers crossed
00:08:41 – this guy is some as close as we want to
00:08:44 – get the whale meat with its high fat
00:08:48 – content may help some bears get through
00:08:51 – these tough times when there's little
00:08:53 – else to eat
00:08:55 – if warming trends continue competition
00:08:59 – for this small pile of food could get
00:09:01 – fierce for a species already on the
00:09:05 – brink polar bears will have some tough
00:09:08 – times ahead
00:09:16 – an overnight snow flurry leaves fresh
00:09:18 – drifts for this young arctic fox to play
00:09:21 – in
00:09:30 – the icy lagoon is full of activity the
00:09:34 – bears use this new platform to practice
00:09:36 – their light as a feather walk sea ice
00:09:39 – unlike fresh water ice is flexible which
00:09:43 – gives the Bears a lot to experiment with
00:09:51 – the fibrous baleen that whales used to
00:09:54 – filter their food has become the perfect
00:09:57 – toy for these young cubs
00:10:00 – [Music]
00:10:05 – play attracts attention and quickly
00:10:10 – their mom claims the large baleen to
00:10:12 – strip out what she can from it
00:10:24 – with the bone pile nearly exhausted this
00:10:28 – mother frantically digs for scraps
00:10:30 – buried in the snow but her fine soon
00:10:34 – draws attention from another family
00:10:50 – tensions are high as bears uncover every
00:10:53 – last bit of whalebone scraping what meat
00:10:57 – they can from the bones
00:11:12 – I find like this is worth protecting
00:11:18 – and this mother bear is not about to
00:11:21 – give up her meal so easily
00:11:38 – [Music]
00:12:07 – this young bear will have to seek out
00:12:09 – his own meal fortunately for him the
00:12:14 – weather appears to be getting worse
00:12:20 – temperatures have dipped to a
00:12:22 – bone-chilling 20 degrees below Greece
00:12:29 – ice is starting to cover the water
00:12:33 – and wins batter the tiny island
00:12:44 – the town is battening down the hatches
00:12:46 – as the storm sets in once ice begins to
00:12:55 – form the ocean freezes over in just a
00:12:58 – few days
00:13:28 – winter has finally taken hold
00:13:36 – the town now in its final days of
00:13:39 – sunlight bids farewell to the Bears as
00:13:42 – they head out onto the pack ice to hunt
00:13:51 – the Sun will vanish below the horizon
00:13:53 – and not reappear for another two months
00:14:00 – [Music]
00:14:03 – for now the world is in darkness
00:14:10 – [Music]
00:14:13 – miles out on the pack ice polar bears
00:14:16 – are hunting seals stalking their prey in
00:14:22 – the inky blackness of winter
00:14:44 – near the end of January the Sun begins
00:14:47 – to reappear it's a time of transition
00:14:54 – with more light each day
00:14:59 – and by May in mid spring the Sun is up
00:15:02 – 24 hours a day and it's safe enough for
00:15:08 – us to venture out onto the pack ice
00:15:12 – [Music]
00:15:14 – we're nearly eight miles out on a thin
00:15:16 – shelf of ice searching for polar bears
00:15:22 – but I'd be foolish to attempt this alone
00:15:29 – Dale Brower grew up on the North S****
00:15:32 – maybe will get on a high point look
00:15:35 – around meaning he grew up in a world
00:15:38 – completely alien to most of us he's a
00:15:43 – really fresh cuz that actually on top of
00:15:45 – our sled tracks from about five hours
00:15:47 – ago maybe even four hours ago so they
00:15:49 – weren't here then that's for sure he
00:15:52 – might have heard the snowy seas and then
00:15:54 – kind of snuck back off into this these
00:15:56 – pressure ridges here him he could just
00:15:58 – be hiding out in the stuff in this
00:16:04 – featureless white landscape it's the
00:16:06 – Bears to have the advantage problem is
00:16:09 – if they're off in the distance or if
00:16:11 – they're behind the ice to get easily
00:16:12 – obscured even a large animal like a
00:16:14 – polar bear is this a weather front
00:16:18 – coming in here
00:16:19 – yeah that's actually the water sky
00:16:21 – that's the water from the open lead
00:16:24 – reflecting into the sky so if you had it
00:16:27 – to it two of those clouds you find open
00:16:29 – water up into artery out underneath and
00:16:32 – there's a good chance that's where the
00:16:33 – polar bear is that we're tracking here
00:17:08 – it's been an exhaustive search and still
00:17:13 – the bear remains elusive
00:17:19 – why were you checking which way the
00:17:20 – winds blow just so that entryway is on
00:17:24 – the opposite end all right
00:17:26 – we don't want it facing the wind all
00:17:28 – right I guess that's really important
00:17:29 – when it blows it for your 50 miles an
00:17:31 – hour respect anything I can already
00:17:38 – smell the tea brew our camp is modest
00:17:42 – but functional in every way I'm
00:17:48 – discovering there's little that Dale
00:17:50 – does that doesn't relate directly to our
00:17:52 – own survival even the caribou hides seem
00:17:59 – to be the perfect insulation against the
00:18:00 – cold see Eric Reinert
00:18:05 – yeah boot fits in a little better like a
00:18:08 – jigsaw Fogg
00:18:20 – Hawaii
00:18:27 – what is that that's my polar bear offer
00:18:31 – it's the best four out there as if it's
00:18:33 – for keeping the wind out oh yeah
00:18:36 – it keeps the wind out and then it
00:18:38 – doesn't really it doesn't frost so it
00:18:41 – doesn't collect snow and stuff
00:18:42 – interesting and then it stays pretty
00:18:45 – clean even though you get it dirty you
00:18:48 – can just wipe it in the snow and the
00:18:49 – hair will just clean itself off
00:18:51 – basically like a polar bear after it's
00:18:53 – done with its kill it'll just rub in the
00:18:55 – snow take a snow bath and it just takes
00:18:58 – all the dirt off the fur
00:19:03 – [Music]
00:19:10 – polar bears or stealth hunters and just
00:19:15 – because you don't see them doesn't mean
00:19:17 – they're not there see what we can do out
00:19:21 – breaking my ankles
00:19:23 – yeah perfect vantage point as I was
00:19:31 – saying the perfect vantage point for
00:19:34 – looking for polar bears our camps right
00:19:37 – here and it's easy to forget this mac
00:19:39 – bang right in the middle a polar bear
00:19:42 – habitat all the way to the horizon all I
00:19:47 – can see is ice giant jagged peaks and
00:19:51 – troughs of ice as far as you can see and
00:19:54 – it is a barren hostile landscape if you
00:19:56 – can't read the ice here you're not going
00:19:59 – to survive
00:20:01 – polar bears our masters are reading the
00:20:04 – ice patrolling the edge of a lead
00:20:08 – smelling for any trace of a seal
00:20:13 – [Music]
00:20:17 – but sneaking up on a seal in open water
00:20:20 – is a challenge even for a polar bear
00:20:32 – [Music]
00:20:40 – the best chance for a meal is to sniff
00:20:42 – out a seals breathing hole or even a den
00:20:45 – with seal pups
00:20:50 – it's a rare sight but Dale is observed
00:20:54 – polar bears hunting they seemed there
00:20:56 – was a hole here and then feral push it
00:21:00 – like that say it if the hole is here he
00:21:06 – could smell it and the hill close the
00:21:08 – hole and then dig this site out where
00:21:10 – the field is at and he'll just scoop the
00:21:13 – seal out it's one of the earliest
00:21:16 – instinctive behaviors for polar bear
00:21:18 – cubs while their mum rests these Cubs
00:21:23 – will practice what it takes to become
00:21:26 – the apex predator of the Arctic learning
00:21:30 – to lead with your nose investigate
00:21:35 – anything out of the ordinary leap across
00:21:41 – unstable chunks of ice and of course the
00:21:47 – belly flop but when Mum Huff's the Cubs
00:21:52 – know it's time to continue with the real
00:21:54 – hunt
00:21:57 – [Music]
00:22:05 – polar bear tracks have led us here a
00:22:09 – whaling camp perched at the edge of a
00:22:11 – lead a bear was spotted just a day ago
00:22:14 – perhaps the very one we're looking for
00:22:19 – for the Inupiat whale hunting is an
00:22:22 – ancient way of life that continues
00:22:24 – nearly unchanged today
00:22:32 – with 24 hours of light the rhythm of
00:22:35 – life is set by the whales
00:22:39 – not the Sun now that oh whale hunting is
00:22:56 – by far the most dangerous part of their
00:22:58 – subsistence life and these young people
00:23:01 – are doing it just the way that their
00:23:02 – ancestors did these guys are like 20 22
00:23:06 – years old have each got a role and its
00:23:10 – importance to the community as vital
00:23:14 – yeah when you become a captain and it's
00:23:17 – your first will you give the whole thing
00:23:19 – away to all the whaling crews you just
00:23:21 – learned over time that what you catch
00:23:24 – isn't really yours as a hunter you're
00:23:27 – here that he feeds the town and the
00:23:30 – families and not really for yourself
00:23:33 – the inupiats commitment to this
00:23:36 – tradition has helped keep this part of
00:23:37 – the coastline free of oil development
00:23:40 – without their protection this vital
00:23:44 – habitat may disappear completely well
00:23:49 – off in the background or a blowhole now
00:23:51 – wow maybe our wait is over
00:24:00 – as the whale approaches the camp becomes
00:24:03 – dead silent as soon as the whale
00:24:18 – surfaces the boat is launched it's a
00:24:24 – tense moment as the men paddle towards
00:24:26 – the massive whale somewhere just under
00:24:29 – the surface
00:24:33 – harpooning a whale by hand is extremely
00:24:36 – dangerous
00:24:37 – bowhead whales can weigh 60 tonnes one
00:24:41 – swipe of its enormous tail fluke could
00:24:43 – easily crush the tiny craft
00:24:49 – [Music]
00:25:00 – because incredible systems really where
00:25:02 – they're trying to get the whale after
00:25:04 – the water dug two holes through the ice
00:25:06 – that go right through and they're gonna
00:25:08 – see this block and tackle and then
00:25:10 – they'll be able to haul the whale in
00:25:30 – [Music]
00:25:44 – [Music]
00:25:55 – this bowhead whale will feed several
00:25:57 – families throughout the season and
00:26:00 – perhaps the polar bears as well it's a
00:26:04 – cycle of life that has remained
00:26:05 – unchanged for thousands of years other
00:26:10 – whales will continue their annual
00:26:12 – migration following the open leads east
00:26:16 – to their summer grounds in the Beaufort
00:26:18 – Sea but the ice is too thin for us to go
00:26:25 – any further it's late May and the pack
00:26:29 – ice is slowly retreating straight down
00:26:38 – it suddenly feels treacherous out here
00:26:40 – doesn't it there are no shortcuts in the
00:26:43 – Arctic you have to know when to call it
00:26:46 – quits as Dale often says if you don't
00:26:51 – come back this season you can't hunt
00:26:53 – next season it's a good lesson even for
00:27:01 – a polar bear
00:27:17 – but continually having to haul himself
00:27:20 – onto the ice takes an immense amount of
00:27:22 – energy
00:27:26 – polar bears face this challenge every
00:27:28 – spring for the impacts of a warming
00:27:32 – world have made matters worse
00:27:40 – lots of pack ice is estimated at 11% per
00:27:44 – decade
00:27:50 – the Bears fragile hunting platform is
00:27:52 – getting thinner and this mother and cub
00:27:58 – have found themselves in an ocean of
00:28:04 – melting ice
00:28:09 – and if warming trends continue scenes
00:28:12 – like this will become common
00:28:16 – [Music]
00:28:27 – like many animals that have made such
00:28:30 – great leaps in their evolution to
00:28:32 – survive the world may be changing too
00:28:34 – fast for polar bears to keep up with
00:28:41 – while the endless arctic Sun slowly
00:28:44 – erodes the ice it brings renewed life to
00:28:47 – the tundra and the season of the Grizzly
00:28:52 – has only just begun
00:28:55 – it's the perfect time to head south and
00:28:58 – into the heart of the Brooks Range it
00:29:03 – looks like a perfect Farmington we're
00:29:12 – following the trails of great migrations
00:29:14 – from seasons past it's an absolutely
00:29:16 – covered with caribou trails right on the
00:29:20 – mountains right over the ridges on
00:29:22 – Farley to the next and we're hoping
00:29:25 – these caribou tracks will point the way
00:29:27 – to Arctic Grizzlies it may be our best
00:29:30 – chance at a closer look at this elusive
00:29:32 – predator but finding nearly half a
00:29:38 – million caribou in the vastness of the
00:29:40 – Western Arctic takes patience and
00:29:42 – persistence we picked this spot because
00:29:46 – his caribou trails all around down
00:29:48 – either Valley each side of the tent here
00:29:50 – no a single caribou yet and not a single
00:29:54 – bear but hopefully when the caribou
00:29:56 – arrive worst occurred in big numbers and
00:29:58 – the Bears might arrive as well yes
00:30:00 – that's what we're hoping for we've
00:30:02 – enlisted the aid of aerial cameraman
00:30:04 – Daniel zaps to help document the herd
00:30:06 – and hopefully the Bears if we find them
00:30:09 – so based on what Jim from fishing game
00:30:12 – said he said that the females and calves
00:30:15 – are running along this line here to the
00:30:17 – north okay and this is also where he
00:30:21 – expects will see the Bears but it's
00:30:22 – really unpredictable it's completely
00:30:25 – unpredictable caribou you never know
00:30:28 – where they're gonna go
00:30:34 – caribou are the ultimate Wanderers
00:30:38 – within a single year the Western Arctic
00:30:41 – herd will range across a quarter of
00:30:43 – Alaska an area the size of Montana
00:30:57 – [Applause]
00:31:08 – [Music]
00:31:12 – it looks like we're in luck we've just
00:31:15 – caught the tail end of a massive herd
00:31:27 – well we have just settled down in a spot
00:31:30 – here so we're trying to stay very quiet
00:31:33 – and reduce our silhouette on the horizon
00:31:36 – cuz they're just so ever vigilant you
00:31:38 – know for wolves and grizzly bears that's
00:31:40 – where the safety in numbers comes from
00:31:41 – if you're eating you're not watching if
00:31:44 – you're watching you're not eating so if
00:31:45 – you're in a group you can do both
00:31:51 – spring is carving season and some of
00:31:56 – these newborns are just a few days old
00:32:00 – caribou calves can run within hours of
00:32:03 – being born it's a matter of survival
00:32:07 – [Music]
00:32:26 – newly-born calves are most vulnerable to
00:32:29 – predators and they have to stay close to
00:32:32 – mom at all times
00:32:39 – wolves are never far behind
00:32:44 – [Music]
00:32:49 – this gray wolf is testing the herd
00:32:54 – looking for any signs of weakness
00:33:05 – he's joined by another from the pack
00:33:15 – together they've cut the herd in half
00:33:27 – [Music]
00:33:30 – but soon the herd has regrouped and the
00:33:34 – Wolves give up the chase
00:33:41 – there's little rest for the herd until
00:33:43 – they complete their seasonal migration
00:33:46 – to their summer range
00:33:52 – caribou were largely sustained by the
00:33:54 – high energy sugars found in Arctic
00:33:57 – lichen so prized is this plant that many
00:34:01 – biologists believe the availability of
00:34:03 – lichen during the winter months can
00:34:06 – profoundly impact caribou numbers
00:34:16 – without the caribou this landscape
00:34:18 – wouldn't look the way it does they
00:34:21 – aerate the soils as they're walking to
00:34:23 – make it more productive for plants even
00:34:27 – their hair provides nesting material for
00:34:29 – migratory birds around here and you can
00:34:32 – imagine how much fertilizer half a
00:34:34 – million caribou create they're like
00:34:38 – blood vessels flowing across this giant
00:34:40 – landscape
00:34:49 – [Music]
00:34:53 – well look at that a mom with three coats
00:35:00 – these are spring Cubs in their first
00:35:03 – year of life foraging along the hillside
00:35:07 – arctic grizzlies must make the most of
00:35:10 – these short summers and that includes
00:35:12 – this mating pair that have somehow found
00:35:15 – each other in this vast expanse
00:35:18 – [Music]
00:35:20 – grizzlies must cover great distances
00:35:23 – just to find enough food an arctic
00:35:27 – grizzly in open Tundra can have a home
00:35:29 – range the size of Yellowstone once you
00:35:34 – touch down keeping up with a grizzly is
00:35:38 – nearly impossible
00:35:51 – for the caribou their journey is nearly
00:35:53 – over the herd has finally made it to
00:36:00 – their summer range the completion of
00:36:03 – their journey but caribou are Wanderers
00:36:06 – and they don't stay put for long
00:36:16 – with the herd moving on and only
00:36:20 – fleeting glimpses of Grizzlies we are
00:36:23 – left with few choices
00:36:28 – an old report of a salmon run has given
00:36:30 – us some hope but this far inland it's a
00:36:42 – long shot even if we find salmon in the
00:36:48 – river no one I've spoken with is
00:36:51 – actually seen arctic grizzlies fishing
00:37:05 – the caribou taunt me but it's not them
00:37:10 – I'm looking for finding bear sign is the
00:37:14 – priority here
00:37:21 – but if Grizzlies are around it's best to
00:37:24 – be prepared
00:37:27 – I carry a shotgun only as an extreme
00:37:29 – precaution and then believe it or not
00:37:34 – there any popular thing with crispy
00:37:37 – birds is this
00:37:37 – Haeri Saram root they love this stuff
00:37:40 – I'm surprised this morsel has been left
00:37:42 – behind that chili you might look at this
00:37:44 – place and think he doesn't offer very
00:37:45 – much
00:37:46 – but they pieced together a diet a little
00:37:49 – bit by a little bit they get by here
00:37:55 – well the trucks all through here look at
00:37:59 – this fresh grizzly bear tracks and then
00:38:01 – right in front of it the caribou track
00:38:04 – so both of these species are using this
00:38:07 – river to get from A to B and
00:38:09 – occasionally if a bear is lucky they'll
00:38:11 – be able to prey on the caribou
00:38:13 – especially during the carving season
00:38:21 – Wow look at that
00:38:25 – the salmon are running the question is
00:38:31 – where are the Bears
00:38:38 – nearly time for a cup of coffee I think
00:38:45 – after hours of waiting there's a shadow
00:38:49 – moving through the Willows
00:38:56 – oh yeah it's right here
00:39:09 – there's a third cup coming up the river
00:39:11 – okay ice here
00:39:19 – she's crossing here I do not want to
00:39:23 – surprise this bear though Arctic
00:39:26 – Grizzlies have a much more aggressive
00:39:27 – reputation than coastal brown bears she
00:39:30 – seems pretty cool she's seen us just
00:39:34 – finding one would be chance enough uh
00:39:36 – how far back is the third one right
00:39:38 – behind the second okay the fourth one is
00:39:41 – way back there in the Willows on this
00:39:44 – side of the creek but now we're suddenly
00:39:48 – surrounded by four
00:40:21 – the family seems to be using the river
00:40:23 – as a corridor but their food is buried
00:40:29 – in the tundra
00:40:35 – Haeri Saram roots are an important
00:40:37 – source of protein for arctic grizzlies
00:40:45 – the Bears lack of interest in the salmon
00:40:48 – is puzzling but these chum salmon don't
00:40:51 – have nearly the fat and calories as
00:40:53 – those the Bears eat along the coast once
00:40:57 – they leave the salt water to head
00:40:58 – upstream they stop eating all their
00:41:02 – energy goes into reaching the spawning
00:41:04 – ground where they were born for these
00:41:08 – fish that's roughly 400 river miles
00:41:13 – after weeks of swimming upstream they've
00:41:16 – used a tremendous amount of their
00:41:17 – reserves to get here and the ones
00:41:20 – vibrant color has faded from their skin
00:41:23 – males will gather and fight for position
00:41:26 – as females arrive once this courting
00:41:32 – process starts it can take hours or even
00:41:35 – days to complete
00:41:44 – the family has returned but this time
00:41:48 – they've staked out a spot on the river
00:41:52 – mum is completely focused on fishing
00:42:14 – she's landed a huge chums Amman
00:42:25 – the whole family retreats into the
00:42:27 – Willows to share the fish here in the
00:42:29 – Arctic a catch like this is quite a
00:42:31 – bounty mum quickly returns to the
00:42:38 – river's edge the Cubs will pick this
00:42:44 – fish clean while mum looks for more
00:42:51 – I could sue scalps all lined up waiting
00:42:54 – for mom to catch dinner
00:43:18 – [Music]
00:43:27 – [Music]
00:43:29 – she's quickly proving to be a skilled
00:43:31 – Fischer and by the looks of these Cubs
00:43:34 – she's been an excellent provider for the
00:43:37 – first two and a half years of their
00:43:38 – lives it's hard it's hard to even
00:43:41 – imagine them as Cubs they're almost as
00:43:43 – big as she is at this state the Cubs
00:43:46 – have been watching her closely and now
00:43:48 – instead of feasting off what she's
00:43:50 – caught they seem to be interested in
00:43:53 – learning to fish themselves
00:44:01 – these new experiences show off how
00:44:05 – different each of these Cubs are they're
00:44:08 – all individuals this cub has plenty of
00:44:15 – confidence he's borderline troublesome
00:44:17 – close to no ads close tonight that's
00:44:24 – close enough
00:44:25 – no it's okay it's all right it's okay
00:44:28 – it's all right he ventures much further
00:44:31 – than the other two and seems to be quite
00:44:33 – bold this boldness concerns his mom
00:44:38 – quite a bit but it's also what yields
00:44:44 – him his first catch very nice that's
00:44:48 – great they're learning I got it yeah
00:44:54 – when he catches something
00:44:56 – it's his alone he is already showing his
00:45:00 – independence
00:45:05 – the other two cubs are more plush and
00:45:07 – cub like than their brother one is
00:45:11 – playful and anxious as he bounds into
00:45:13 – the water after fish the other cub is
00:45:18 – much more cautious sticking close to Mum
00:45:34 – for the first time in the days we've
00:45:36 – been watching her she's able to rest
00:45:38 – comfortably on the shore while her cubs
00:45:41 – patrol the shallow river it's doubtful
00:45:47 – they know this is their last summer
00:45:49 – under her care and guidance
00:46:00 – at last her smallest cub is beginning to
00:46:03 – focus on the salmon mom follows close
00:46:10 – behind stirring up the fish
00:46:17 – she gives up the chase letting her cub
00:46:20 – finish the catch oh look at that it's
00:46:30 – not uncommon to see a mother get very
00:46:32 – protective and aggressive while fishing
00:46:36 – to me she seems as intent on preparing
00:46:39 – these Cubs for life on their own as she
00:46:41 – does with finding food don't forget
00:46:47 – we're here after several days of being
00:46:51 – watched her curiosity for us has finally
00:46:55 – peaked a bear you are a good mama oh you
00:46:59 – are so sweet
00:47:00 – ah look at her backing up like that are
00:47:05 – we gonna get out of your way
00:47:10 – and that's our cue
00:47:14 – [Music]
00:47:17 – we'll take a cue from this a good lesson
00:47:20 – for us to keep in mind is to always
00:47:22 – leave on a good note while it may be
00:47:27 – some time before they come across people
00:47:29 – again when they do we want their memory
00:47:32 – of us to be a positive one
00:47:44 – with a few short Huff's she rounds up
00:47:48 – her family to call it a day
00:47:55 – we really didn't know when we entered
00:47:58 – this situation if she was going to be
00:48:00 – accepting of us or not and she's emerged
00:48:02 – to be this wise mature thoughtful
00:48:06 – careful female it's taken us time to get
00:48:10 – to know them and to understand that so
00:48:12 – whether we know what their limits are
00:48:14 – and it reminds you that any two bears
00:48:17 – are as different as any two people you
00:48:19 – might encounter
00:48:24 – and over this journey it's become clear
00:48:28 – the world these bears inhabit is vast
00:48:32 – yet it must remain so to sustain such
00:48:35 – great Wanderers
00:48:40 – the resources we so prized are embedded
00:48:44 – in the land that sustains all life here
00:48:49 – [Music]
00:48:51 – like the great plains of Africa Alaska
00:48:55 – is the last stronghold for some of the
00:48:58 – Earth's wildest creatures
00:49:05 – I've never felt so comfortable or so
00:49:08 – alive as I do here this may be the end
00:49:11 – of my journey but Alaska's wilderness
00:49:14 – and its wildest creatures will always
00:49:18 – call me back
00:49:28 – [Music]
00:49:50 – [Music]
00:49:58 – to learn more about what you've seen on
00:50:00 – this nature program visit pbs.org


Video Url:
http://youtu.be/opl8CySzLk4

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