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NATURE: Bears Of The Last Frontier: Arctic Wanderers

Airs Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: A polar bear surrounded by discarded bowhead whale meat.

Get up close and personal with North American bears in NATURE's three-part special "Bears Of The Last Frontier." NATURE joins adventurer and bear biologist Chris Morgan on a year-long motorcycle odyssey deep into Alaska’s bear country to explore the amazing resiliency and adaptability of these majestic animals as they struggle to make a living in five dramatically diverse Alaskan ecosystems: coastal, urban, mountain, tundra, and pack ice.

Adventurer and bear biologist Chris Morgan takes a break after an exhausting drive on the way to Anchorage from Homer along a back road.
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Above: Adventurer and bear biologist Chris Morgan takes a break after an exhausting drive on the way to Anchorage from Homer along a back road.

Photo Gallery

View photos from "Bears Of The Last Frontier: Arctic Wanderers"

Interactive Map

During the filming of "Bears Of The Last Frontier," Chris and Joe traversed the Alaskan wilderness in search of the state’s wild bear populations. Click on a marker in this map for video, images, and text associated with that ‘location’—markers reference general shaded areas and are not site-specific.

In hour three "Arctic Wanderers," Morgan travels to the far north of Alaska, the tiny North Slope town of Kaktovik.

It’s early November and winter is coming on. But each year, the polar bears struggle for extended periods on dwindling fat reserves, waiting for the opportunity to hunt on sea ice that takes longer to freeze.

In early spring, Morgan joins local hunters in Barrow, the northernmost city in Alaska, as they go out on their own hunts, facing some of the same challenges as the bears.

In late spring, Morgan travels to the North Slope of the Brooks Range, where countless thousands of caribou cover the ground for miles. The grizzlies are waiting for them, as they have for thousands of years.

NATURE is on Facebook, and you can follow @PBSNature on Twitter.

Previous Episodes:

"Bears of the Last Frontier: City of Bears" and "Bears of the Last Frontier: The Road North" originally aired in 2011, and rebroadcast in July 2012.

Video

Video Experpt: Arctic Wanderers: A Polar Bear Approaches

Watch the full episode. See more Nature.

Above: In this video clip from NATURE's "Bears Of The Last Frontier: Arctic Wanderers," ecologist Chris Morgan and filmmaker Joe Pontecorvo decide to head out after an agitated polar bear begins to approach.

Video

Video Experpt: Arctic Wanderers: A Frozen Ocean

Watch the full episode. See more Nature.

Above: In this video clip from NATURE's "Bears Of The Last Frontier: Arctic Wanderers," polar bears head out on the pack ice to hunt when the ocean freezes over.

Video

Video Experpt: Arctic Wanderers: The First Catch

Watch the full episode. See more Nature.

Above: In this video clip from NATURE's "Bears Of The Last Frontier: Arctic Wanderers," with help from its mother, a cub catches its first salmon at Brooks Range, high in the Alaskan Arctic.

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