Source: Nature: "The Good, the Bad, and the Grizzly"
Major corporate support for the Nature collection was provided by Canon U.S.A. and SC Johnson. Additional support was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the nation’s public television stations.
Residents who live near some of the few remaining grizzly bear habitats in the western U.S. are having a difficult time with their furry and often hungry neighbors. The grizzlies have roamed their way through neighborhoods, sometimes putting both themselves and humans in danger. In this video segment from Nature, learn about some of the challenges faced by residents who have settled in "bear country."
Grizzly bears were once scarce in Yellowstone National Park and on their way to extinction. After becoming designated as an Endangered Species over three decades ago, governmental protections have allowed these natural predators to make a comeback. But the grizzly’s success has come at a destructive and often dangerous price for people living nearby. Maintaining a delicate balance between humans and the resurgent grizzlies continues to challenge conservationists today.
Residents: We’ve been bearless, oh, in the past month and a half we’ve been bearless for three days. They’re trying to get into the dumpster. And once in a while, you have to clean up a mess.
Residents: They’ll try to get grease once in a while.
Residents: They’ll try to get into the grease barrel. She mock charged the one night. Case absolutely dove through the house window to get into the house. They run one way and we run the other basically.
In the small community of Wapiti, Wyoming, bears are becoming more than a nuisance.
Child: Okay, my daddy taught my mommy all about bears, my mommy taught me all about bears and then I taught Francesca all about bears.
Shane Moore: What do bears like to eat?
They like to eat anything, they’re not that picky.
They like to eat humans!
Sometimes they do.
The real problem in Wapiti is the orchards of apple trees – for the bears, forbidden fruit.
Grab one up there, you got it? All right!
Resident: I get frustrated sometimes with the bears, you know. You go out twice a day and pick up any apples that have fallen on the ground. You make sure your garbage is either locked down or behind an electric fence. You also try to live with them and try to do the best you can and be as responsible as you can, but even all that being said doesn’t mean that you won’t have trouble.
Wapiti’s Grade School sits just outside the Shoshone National Forest. Eighteen bears have been trapped in and around town.
Little Wes: I’ve seen bear prints on my dad’s truck. Is that scary? Yeah!
Child in cap: The new rule for when you see a bear is to drop your equipment, your ball, whatever you’re playing with, and carefully walk over to the door.
To keep grizzlies from wandering right into the schoolyard, parents have erected an eight-foot high fence all around the perimeter. Inside, the children can play safely out of the reach of bears.
A bear only gets two chances. Someone fed this one and changed its behavior. Now it thinks humans are a source of food. Mark Bruscino has a problem with only one solution.
As hard as he tries to prevent this step, Mark has to euthanize several bears each summer.
And the most dangerous season is yet to come.
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