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Way of the Bear in Alaska

The latest information about the behavior of grizzlies.

A printer-friendly version of this page 33 minutes
Directed by Daniel Zatz and Derek Stonorov
Produced by Broadcast Services of Alaska

Emmy Award-winning wildlife filmmaker Daniel Zatz (BEARS!), and bear biologist Derek Stonorov, spent six years filming this extraordinary documentary examination of the life of Alaska's brown bears - better known as grizzlies.

Amazing footage of grizzlies hunting, fishing, playing, and fighting allows us an intimate view of the family life of one of America's most awe-inspiring and endangered wildlife species.

Brown bears have lived in Alaska for over 10,000 years. Despite their terrifying reputation, grizzlies are seen to be sensitive, intelligent animals that form rich and intricate social systems.

WAY OF THE BEAR presents the most up-to-date scholarly information about brown bear behavior in a way that will intrigue everyone from the expert zoologist to the junior high student, and from the professional guide to the recreational hiker. Shot amidst Alaska's breathtaking scenery, this video's underlying message is a plea to preserve what's left of the grizzlies' habitat.

Grade Level: 3-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 1996     Copyright Date: 1996
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-767-1     VHS ISBN: 0-9639353-1-3

"Stunning behavior footage; beautiful scenics. Wonderful explanation of subtleties in interactive behaviors. Tremendous tension conveyed purely with film and synchronized sound. Outstanding film!"
Jury, Outdoor Writers Association of America Film and Video Competition

"Spectacular scenery and footage of bears....the care of dependent cubs, hierarchy of bear society, communication among bears, their role as top predators in the ecosystem, and their connection to all parts of the ecosystem are presented... A useful accompaniment to science, ecology, nature, and natural history lessons as well as behavior and communications classes."
School Library Journal

"The Alaskan setting is spectacular, and the videography is superb...Because most bear-human contacts that end in tragedy are due to human ignorance and usually lead to the destruction of the animal, the producers would like this video to be helpful in protecting bears from humans."
The Science Teacher

"This film is exceptionally easy on the eyes...The narrative tracks well with the action...The sounds are natural and tiresome dubbing of inappropriate bear 'growls' every time a bear shows up on the screen as we so often see in other 'nature' films...I'd recommend this film to anyone."
International Bear News

"A useful accompaniment to science, ecology, nature, and natural history lessons as well as behavior and communications classes."
School Library Journal

"Interesting with spectacular cinematography, Way of the Bear is suitable for 7th grade and up."
Rebecca S. Graves, University of Missouri-Columbia, MC Journal

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Way of the Bear in Alaska

"I'd recommend this film to anyone." International Bear News

Study guide

Awards and Festivals
First Place, North American Outdoor Writers Association Film & Video Awards
Best Educational Film, International Wildlife Film Festival, Missoula
3rd Place, Animal Behavior Society Film Festival
SciFest, Vancouver

Animal Behavior/Communication
Endangered Species
Environmental Studies
Life Science
Natural History

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Wolves in Paradise
Ranchers and environmentalists team up to protect open space from developers and to learn how to share with wolves this last wild corner of the West.

Look Who's Talking...
New research into animal communication challenges our assumptions.

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