A film by Annette and Klaus Scheurich
Documentary (52 min.), BR, arte, 2018
When spring arrives on Alaska’s Katmai coast, it’s time for brown bears to emerge from their winter slumber. But this is no ordinary bear habitat – this is bear paradise: an unusual combination of rich food sources draws more Grizzlies together on its lush sedge meadows, extensive mudflats and rushing rivers than anywhere else on Earth. It makes Katmai the perfect place for bear biologist Chris Morgan to experience Grizzly behaviour up close. Since brown bears are protected here, they are not shy around humans and approach to within a few metres. At the beginning of the bear-year, food is the main thing on the bears’ minds, from grazing on sedge grasses to digging for clams, scavenging on carcasses, even predating on young bear cubs … securing the next meal is an absolute priority until the salmon runs in late summer provide a welcome reprieve. Surrounded by wild Grizzlies of all ages and personalities, Chris grants us a rare glimpse into their daily lives, their triumphs and tribulations. His tongue-in-cheek approach remains informative throughout, explores the bears’ personas and demolishes the widespread notion of the aggressive and deadly beast. Engaging, exciting, funny and sad all wrapped into one, Chris Morgan brings us a step closer to the realities of life as a brown bear.