PBS highlights Alaska’s bears as icons of wilderness

Much of Alaska is a paradise for black, grizzly and polar bears.


Alaska’s wildlands allow three bear species to thrive, and they are iconic symbols of the wilderness that covers much of America’s largest state.

The PBS Nature series is currently featuring these awe-inspiring creatures in a three-part documentary titled “Bears of the Last Frontier.”

Over two years, ecologist Chris Morgan and filmmaker Joe Pontecorvo traveled more than 3,000 miles and shot more than 500 hours of footage to capture the lives of black, grizzly and polar bears in their natural  – and not-so-natural – habitats.

From the frozen landscape of the Arctic coast to the remote wilderness of the Alaska Peninsula and the rainforests of the Tongass National Forest, much of Alaska is a paradise for bears. But urban landscapes and industrial infrastructure pose threats by displacing bears and subjecting them to interactions with humans.

“Bears of the Last Frontier” is the result of Morgan’s and Pontecorvo’s dream of using film to have a positive influence on wildlife conservation. Their hope is that this series will inspire people to learn more, and take steps to protect the wilderness that bears need to thrive.

“Bears represent wildness more than any other species, but we cannot take that wildness for granted,” they wrote in an introduction to the series. “It will take determination, passion and imagination to ensure that future generations can enjoy a world that includes bear habitat.”

Check your local listings for the next installment of Bears of the Last Frontier. 

You also can see the series at www.pbs.org.