Bears of the Last Frontier
LIVE Chat with Chris Morgan

Ecologist and bear biologist Chris Morgan talks with Nature fans live after the first of the three-part series, Bears of the Last Frontier.

Chris Morgan Webcast: Hour 1 (9:00 PM EST)

Chris Morgan Webcast: Hour 2 (9:00 PM PST)

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  • Judi

    I am enjoying watching this – thank you so much.

    My husband and I went on a Bear Viewing on Kodiak Island in July 2009. We had 19 grizzly’s some within 10-12 feet of us.

  • Leesa

    What happened to the bear with three cubs?
    Are those bugs flying around mosquitoes?

  • Joe

    What is the life span of a female bear?

  • Patricia Getha

    Fabulous footage Chris! As an artist, I can appreciate the gorgeous light and the scenery. I can see that you had some intense moments. You are much braver than I but I am happy to see that you have a healthy respect for the bears unlike some other foolish people. Great Job! Can’t wait to see the next segment.

  • Michael Callim

    Chris-

    Did you feel safe because of the abundance of food in the City of Bears. Is it safe to assume that if there was a dearth of food around then you would have been more of a target for as you said for “improvisationsal” food gathering?

    Thanks

  • Nigel Eves

    Congratulations, Chris!
    That is the finest film on bears ever, and I’ve seen lots.

  • Al Kreitner

    Is it more than just luck that Chris didn’t suffer the same fate as Timothy Treadwell?

  • Bob Kelly…Ames, IA

    Hi Chris…

    SUPERLATIVE PROGRAM!! I sooo loved every moment of it. I was with you eight years ago in Churchill, and fond memories of our times there with the polar bears. I am anxious to see the other two episodes in the next two weeks. Congratulations…..I knew this would happen with you, and no one could be more deserving than you! Continued success!

    Bob Kelly

  • Mike

    Hi, Loved watching your show! What protection did you have for yourself? If the bears are so hungry why would they not see you as a possible food source?

  • Sandy S

    Hi Chris, I’m speechless and filled with happy tears. Wonderful job – so warm and real. Hugs and Congratulations

  • Eva and Coralie Bod

    What inspired you to go into your career? Have you ever been scared to be so very close to the bears?

  • Michelle

    My husband and I absolutely love this show. It is amazing and programs like this is why I support PBS. Thank you very much. We also want to know what happened to the mother with the three bears!

    Also wondering how the bears felt so comfortable with you?

  • Rad Watkins

    This was amazing. What did you study to help you feel so secure next to bears? I had two run in’s with grizzly when I worked in Glacier NP, Montana, but they happened fast and I don’t know that I would have been as calm if I were on film:)

  • Hal Banks

    Why didn’t the bears attack you as a food source or as a predator?

  • Rachel

    Wondering how this film would be different if a female bear expert, such as Hillary Robison, PhD, of Bozeman, MT were narrating it? Seemed a bit macho and anthropomorphized… I didn’t see the bid dude wearing any bear spray, but I hope he was…

  • Max

    Just wondered where you were filming for the first episode. You mention the pan handle of Alaska, but where exactly were you?

  • Reed

    I think that I noticed a special vocalization from the Mamma Bear to her cubs, when the big Male Bears were close. Is that true, and if so, does the Mamma Bear do the special vocalization most of the time?

  • David W

    Great program! Is the Alaskan peninsula protected to keep these bear populations safe?

  • David W

    Great program! Is the Alaskan peninsula protected to keep these bear populations safe?

  • walley morse

    were you there long enough to look at the different personalities of the bears. Besides MOM… did you name any of them?

  • Jay Teigh

    I noticed a couple of times when you had a bear get very close that you reached down for something, Chris. Did you have a can of pepper spray handy?

    Very well done, BTW! Bravo on your courage and Joe’s, as well. Fascinating stuff!

  • Todd F

    Hi Chris, Loved the first part! With the bears coming so close to you and your cameraman, how would be able to protect yourself from attack?

  • Sophia

    I find you very poetic as you describe the bears in their natural beauty. My mother and I liked watching this. We also went to your presentation at the Hilton in Manhattan, NY in March, and were able to speak to you. We will continue to watch the next two parts of your journey. Let me know if you would like me to forward the picture of us together :)

    My question to you is, have you ever experienced fear while encountering these massive animals so closely?

  • Sabrina

    How can I get this on? its not working!

  • Jerry

    Was the first segment filmed in Kodiak? Did you also go to the salmon run at Katmai in July?

  • Sabrina

    Hi Chris, I’m 13. And I just wanted to say. that this show is very cool.
    I have 2 questions.
    My first 1 is: Were you ever scard of the bears?

    and my second 1 is: how long did u stay in bear country for?

  • Jennifer

    Loved the show, cannot wait for the next two installments! Thank you for bringing such an intersting story to us.

  • Alyssa

    This show is absolutely fantastic!!! It just makes me all fuzzy inside and reassures me of how much I am looking forward to studying earth and environmental sciences. :) Can’t wait to the next episode!!!!!

  • Emily

    How did you get the underwater shots of the salmon and bears ?

  • Paul Zaretsky

    Did you know Timothy Treadwell?

  • Kristi Grubaugh

    Chris,
    Your picture with my mom, “Iz” Feddersen, is on her freezer from the trip to Churchill she made with you several years ago. The entire family was alerted to watch your show tonight and it was worth every minute. This was fantastic!

  • Jean

    What would have happened if the mom bear got killed during the dust-up at the river with the male bear? Would you be able to help the cubs in any way, or is that forbidden? I would be hard-pressed to not do anything. We were giued to the show, looking forward to the next installment

  • Donna

    Great series, can’t wait to see all episodes! How did you assure your safety at night while sleeping in the tent?

  • http://pbs.org Lester

    Thank you guys. This is so great to watch. Those bears are so beautiful and powerful.

  • “Iz” Feddersen

    YO Chris — Soooo great to see YOU and the BEARS this evening. Both looking great!! Wonderful job!! Will now get out my albums, AGAIN, look at my pics, particuarly a fav of mine taken with you and the necklace that you made me from bacon.

  • Parker Fritz

    Thank you very much for answering my question and look forward to watching the remaining two episodes. Great work!

  • Joe Pontecorvo

    Hi Emily,
    The underwater shots were captured with a small HD POV (Point of View Camera) on a long pole. I was able to watch the image on a small field monitor attached to the end of the pole.
    Thanks for your question.

  • Manuel Molles

    I found your observations of complex social interactions among bears very interesting. My wife and I have photographed (with trail cameras) similar interactions (play fighting, chasing, caressing) among black bears in a small meadow near our cabin in southern Colorado. In a sequence lasting a few days last year, two adult bears met and played in the meadow both during the day and at night, leaving a photographic record of about 100 photos. I should note that the site is very isolated and there was no obvious attractant for the bears (no food, garbage, etc.). Also, it was mid-September so well past mating season. Is this behavior known for black bears? Would you be interested in photos of bears interacting at this site?

    Thanks!
    Manuel

  • Hugh Robinson

    So good I watched it twice, at 6:00 and again at 8:00. Congratulations guys!

  • Edna Greene

    Hi Chris, The show was wonderful and your experiences being so close to the bears was quite exhilarating even to watch. I am concerned however that a strong statement should have been made regarding how people should know how to deal with wild life that they may come across. People need to know the dangers and may think in watching you that it is safe to be near wild animals.

  • Ellen Lodine

    Chris,

    Paul and I loved the first episode tonight. Amazing photography and storyline. I feel as if the bears are our family. Thanks for reminding us it was on tonight. We will watch again!

    I’ll check in when I am in Bellingham.
    Ellen

  • Philip

    Fantastic footage. Congratulations.

    Were you in Katmai? What rivers were you camped near and filming on?

    In 2004 I had the opportunity to help out with some research on bear viewing in the area near Mt. Douglas, and much of your footage is familiar. I actually have video of a wolf sneaking up behind a bear and biting it on the rear.

    Keep up the good work.

    Philip
    Portland, Oregon

  • Bob L

    My heart rate went up went the mother and cubs came within 5-6 feet. I can only image how your heart was beating! I am amazed a mother with cubs would be that tolerant of you being so close.

  • Karen

    HI Chris,
    Will you please be so kind as to leave contact info of your organization on the PBS online site? I am unable to pick up sound on this online chat at present. Many thanks, again.

  • Bob L

    Chris – you must have a great sense of priviledge being able to observe these magnificent bears

  • Joe Pontecorvo

    A quick additional note about the making of bears.
    Our primary camera was a PDW-700 XDCAM with a Canon 28-500mm HD lens
    Our power supply system was a lithium and lead acid solar power system.

  • nami

    chris&Jim,

    love the program, amazing footage, how can you two get so close? didou ever doubt that the bar might come charging on you two? when wil the parttwo air?can’t wait.
    congrats on our amazin work !

    nami

  • bill swartz

    What was the string around your campsite? Was it electrified.
    Were you in Katmi. Did you have bear spray.

  • Bob Turnbull

    Very little on TV I consider watching. This program left me in total awe! The subject matter was great and unknow to me. The footage was truly professional. And your commlentary was flawless. A grand presentation. Was there ever close call that were not shown on film? Can’t wait for next installment. Bob T.

  • Frank Weigert

    I disagree with the narrator calling polar bears and grizzly bears separate species. They interbreed naturally in the wild and produce fertile offspring. By any accepted definition of the word, these two populations of bears are one species. It would be like calling Scandinavian people with blond hair and Asian people with black hair separate species. They may have different hair colors and customs, but they belong to the species Homo sapiens.

    The naturalist who named the second species made a mistake. It is time for the scientific community to stop using the erroneous name.

    REFERENCE
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grizzly%E2%80%93polar_bear_hybrid

  • Linda Goodwin, Snoqualmie, WA

    I am so interested the the project mentioned on your fabulous episode of “Bears of the Last Frontier,” re-introducing grizzly bears to the Cascade Mtns.

    We live in the western foothills of the Cascades, an area increasingly encroached upon by human development. “Our” bears, black bears in our forested, semi-rural neighborhood, seem to be in such a precarious position living so close with people. Luckily, in our small area of forest, the human residents are very tolerant, somewhat knowledgable about not attracting bears to yards with trash, pet food, and not calling the police or news media just because a bear is sighted.

    Unfortunately, though, the development called Snoqualmie Ridge curves around our forest on three sides and I-90 borders the south edge: many ways for bears to get into trouble, and I worry about them. I care about bears and all wildlife, and so I hope to hear from you that, if your grizzly re-introduction program is given the go-ahead, their new habitat will necessarily be far from any potential future human developments, and that hunting them will never be an option. Also, will you be partnering or working in any way with Vital Ground? Is there a proposal or a description of your grizzly project I could read? In the past, I’ve worked in the field on small projects capturing and banding birds of prey, taking census of desert tortoises, habitat diversity surveys in my work as a park ranger in California, and I’m still very interested in projects like yours.

    I have borrowed your lines from the end of the episode: “Wilderness isn’t the wide open spaces. It’s the wild things in it,” to add to my correspondence signature line, attributed to you. Loved the show.

  • Fred Hall

    Hello,

    Great show. I loved it.

    Questio?

    I noticed in one of the shots that you created a boundary or fence if you will around your tent. Can you tell me more about it and if it works by keeping out the bears?

    Thanks,
    Fred Hall

  • Robin

    What kind of motorbikes did you ride through Alaska?

  • Alexis

    I’m watching one of the bears right now, its so sad. It really touches my heart.

    Take care and God Bless. <3

  • John

    An absorbing and informative video with fantastic scenes. Many thanks to you and Joe for your superb efforts. Do you believe that bears senses an individual feels threatened and is afraid? Often you would say, “Hey bear, hey bear.” Do bears have keen eyesight. Also, I often find curious that bears will stand on their hind legs to see better and wonder how this behavior evolved. Keep up the good work to help others to understand our wildlife and conservation.

  • Karen Suarez

    Spent a lot of time in that area from ‘95 to 2000. I think it is important to only habituate bears that live where hunting is not permitted. Eco tourism is a key to protection in many areas. I like to tell folk in Wyoming and Idaho. Be careful wishing for the bears and wolves to be gone. You will end up with California! I love bears and all nature. Removing it, speed up our demise.

  • Sean Carrell

    Hello Chris –

    Wonderful series. I only wish I caught the first episode. Im not sure if you remember me, but you and I met at the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife. You met with myself and our Wildlife Management staff, Donny Martorello and Rich Beausoleil, regarding outreach/education on black bears.

    My kids nd I were glued to the program and it was exciting seeing the little biologists come out of my children. This type of programming is critical, not only in the understanding of bears, but also their environment that is intetwined with ours.

    Nice work!!!!!!

  • Bill Staples

    Hello….Chris, Joe and team…thank you for such a wonderful piece. I wish everyone could watch this series. I would hope it would change alot of hunters’ outlook on bears and other wildlife. It’s nice to see a man not have to prove his manhood with a gun against these great creatures. To see an animal capable of killing a man show respect and no fear, yet no aggrression in return for the same is amazing. It’s so easy to see the mutual respect between the bears and yourself…I teared up a few times. I wish I had the opportunity to do the same…those moments you were so close to them was breathtaking to watch. You obviously have a great gift of rapport with animals. I look forward to the 3rd in the series! Again, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! Take care and the best of health and happiness to you and your group…you all deserve it. Bill

  • Jose

    Hello, Chris Morgan,
    Thoroughly enjoyed your series parts 1&2 so far. I am inspired to find my snitch in nature, how can I enter the field of nature conservation and ecology? I have always been interested in nature and wilderness exploration, not to mention animals in their natural habitat. Keep up the good work and sharing your love of bears and nature landscapes. Bless your work.

    Jose Rivera
    Boston,MA.

  • Jose

    Hello again, Chris Morgan

    How often did you cook meals using open stoves and how did this not bring bears looking for food?

    Love the series…!
    Jose

  • roger mosure

    Having been to Alaska 15 times and backpacked most of the areas you filmed,its fun to compare my shot s to your film.Many similarities with one major difference,your shots are awesome compared to mine,and mine are good.job well done.I plan to purchase the dvd.You can”t make a film any better.

  • Joseph Wayne Tanner

    Hello again Chris Morgan forgive me for asking you this question again but I would just like to 1 last time please if you weather or not you and Joe Pontecorvo film any Bear Predation on 1 the largest member of the Deer Family the Moose while you were in Alaska that was the work of Black Bears or Brown Bears a.k.a. Grizzly Bears ? Because I would like to what the total number Moose deaths by either 1 of the Bears is and weather or not the Brown Bear a.k.a. Grizzly Bear is the only Bear capable of hunting, killing, and feeding on Moose mainly the Moose Calves from Joseph Wayne Tanner of Eustis, Florida.

  • Nancy

    Absolutely LOVED this series; so sad it is now over. You, Chris and Joe, and all of your team did a wonderful job. Joe, be proud; your camera work is the best I’ve seen. I noticed last night the shot of a bear getting close to you while filming…and you (and the cameraman that caught it) just kept on shooting – impressive!
    Thank you again for giving us something to look forward to watching.

  • glenn

    Chris and Joe………the mother bear and three cubs fishing….great film…..My question is whats your purpose? You did not advocate any group to save the “last frontier” ? It may bring alot of inexperienced nature lovers to the last frontier and ” not have a good experience with what is left of these bears. Also nothing new was covered about bears. Along with your cameraman and your shotgun hows bout leveling the playing field and carry a mild tranquuilizing dart gun to just slow that mother down should she turn on you. After all we outnumber them by the billions my man. If your going to interfere with these bears lives you should at least be willing to take a chance. Ie, she charges you guys, you hit her w/ a tranquilizing dart and hope she gets groggy before catching up with you. Thats a little bit closer to how it might come down, instead it’s really about you two being more important than the mother and her cubs? What say you?

  • jd

    How do you remain so inconspicuous around bears? Is there anything that you do in perticular to camouflage yourself?

  • jd

    Hi Chris, I actually have several questions. I really like your show and i appreciate what you do to make us more educated about bears. Can you name the different breed of bear from least aggresive to most? Is there anyting in perticual that you do that causes the bears to scatter when they get too close to you? What is the best thing to do if approached by a bear? Are different breed of bear in Alaska besides brown bear. Do perticual bear breeds such as black or brown bear live in perticualr environments/areas. Why was there string around your camp. What was that thing that you were sleeping on in your tent (like a air mattress but smaller) and is it comfortable? I have many more questions but I hope that you can answer some of these it would be much appreciated. Best of luck to you in your future adventures!

    Thanks!

  • traelynn

    Hi Chris…
    I appreciate your message and respect toward Bears. I live in California and it is really hard to get people to NOT feed the Bears…or dispose of their trash properly.
    Keep up the great work and I hope to see more of your endeavors!
    Thanks!
    Traelynn

  • magdalena

    affascinazione …

  • richard

    dear chris,
    i just viewed your bear film per excellente!
    thank you. keep up your spiritual gift.

  • Susan

    I just finished watching all three episodes and enjoyed all three… the narration was very non-intrusive and gave the viewer the feeling of being in the wild with you….just wonderful!

  • Darryl Taylor

    Great film. How did you keep the bears from ripping you to pieces? I did not see any weapons. How were you able to get close and stay close to the bears without being attacked? Thanks for your time.

  • Michael Bailey

    That was a fantastic journey Chris, I really enjoyed “Bears of the Last Frontier”. And they came so incredibly close, and they’re just so beautiful! That was an excellent adventure; please invite us again on your next adventure!

  • Woody Woodward

    I just got back last week from Alaska- Anchorage, Denali and Kenai Peninsula. What a stunningly beautiful place…
    I only saw a few brown bears ( in Denali). Although I did not see any bears in my 6 days in Anchorage I came away with many questions about how can an urban area live with something like tis without constant worry. Your program gave me greater understanding and appreciation for these magnificent creatures. Thank you.

  • chell bell

    Awesome show . I’m greatful what you are doing I learned alot on this show wish we could migrate seals and drop them closer to the Polar bears so they wouldn’t have to even cross the Artic Ocean since the ice will only melt faster in the future is there a way we could do that without disrupting nature’s echo habitat???

  • fred stresau

    Leaving for Colorado and New Mexico this weekend and just saw the film on Bears of the Last Frontier. fasinating film for those of us that have been wilderness camping in the high mountains of griz bear country.Colorado, Wyoming esp. The Winds outside of Lander above the Shoshone Indian Reservation at 10,500 feet, – but my question focuses on the cubs and what or how do you protect yourself from the approach of the courious cubs. Also from other ?’s what is the boundry wire or rope aroung the tent? and do you have bear spray with you?

    Fred and Christine

  • Jan carhart

    Loved your series. Just wonder wondering jwhy you picked prudhoe bay rather than Churchill for watching the polar bears. Any particular reason? I had an amazing experience seeing polar bears in the area around Churchill.

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