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On Location With Bears


A landscape of streams and scrub, flanked by dramatic mountain ranges, Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve is home to an estimated 2,000 grizzlies and has the highest recorded density in the world.   Its vast meadows allow for some of the best and safest  bear viewing areas in the world – and are home to the McNeil Brown Bear Sanctuary.   

In the film, we explore the area through wilderness guide Chris Day, who with her husband has been living and working in close proximity to the bears of Alaska’s McNeil Brown Bear Sanctuary for more than 13 years.

The region is also home to the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, the site for one of nature’s most amazing spectacles -- a gathering of grizzlies fishing for salmon.  This great feast is caught up close on camera in the culmination of the film.


The  5,785 square miles of the Selway-Bitterroot and adjacent Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Areas in central Idaho and western Montana were historically home to thousands of grizzlies, before they were hunted to extinction in the 1940s.   NWF has recently been actively engaged in the ongoing effort to reintroduce grizzly bears into this region. 

Black bears still remain in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, and the film.  However, the film points out how loss of habitat is threatening their survival in this and other regions across North America. 


This region of massive ice floes is home to the largest of the bear species – the polar bear.  Temperatures in the winter are well below freezing; polar bears generally remain on the ice and  feed on seals and other marine mammals.  But the ice disappears in the spring and the bears are forced ashore.  Without food, they face a period of "famine."  Melts are coming earlier in recent years -- a factor widely attributed to global warming -- leaving a longer period of "famine" and posing a threat to polar bears’ livelihood.

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Film Info

Video Clips

BMZ Originals:

Bears: Bear Essentials Real 300 K

Bears: Bear Essentials Real 56 K

Clips & Trailers:

Bears: Ideal Subject Real 300 K

Bears: Message Real 300 K

Bears: Polar Bears Real 300 K

Film Status

Now Playing


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A National Wildlife Federation and Science North Presentation of a Primesco Film. Producers: Goulam Amarsy and James Marchbank. Director: David Lickley. Co-distributed by National Wildlife Federation and Primesco Distribution Inc. Distributed in Japan by Cinema Japan Co., Ltd. Co-Executive Producers: Christopher N. Palmer and Ed Capelle. Editor: James Lahti. Writer: Alexander Low. Narrator: Tyrone Benskin Composer: Violane Corradi, with feature song by Lyle Lovett.


BMZ Reviews:

Oh My By Ross Anthony

BMZ Review of BEARS By Herb Lash

Outside Reviews:

"Bears" By Melissa Maerz, City Pages

"Bears, Bears Everywhere " By Laurel Graeber, New York Times

"Bears Review" By Diane Urbani, Deseret News

"'Bears' gets close as you can (without running)" By Arthur Salm, Union-Tribune

"'Bears' keeps focus simple" By Margaret A. McGurk, The Cincinnati Enquirer

BMZ User Reviews

Rating: Fair
Posted by: twalker711
pretty boring ...