NATURE Bears of the Last Frontier

Bears of the Last Frontier is a 3-part film series created by Joe Pontecorvo and Chris Morgan for PBS NATURE and National Geographic Television International. The opportunity for this show came up when PBS NATURE execs saw some of our BEARTREK footage at a film festival in Montana.

Joe (producer/director) and Chris (host/narrator) spent almost two years crafting this 3-hour mini-series that focuses on Alaska's three bear species - grizzly, black and polar. The film documents Chris's epic 3,000-mile journey along the length of rugged Alaska through five ecosystems on his motorcycle. It's an adventure into the bear's world that is full of breath-taking natural beauty and fascinating information about bears. Bears of the Last Frontier was broadcast to over 200 million homes in 147 countries and 26 languages.

Chris authored an accompanying book of the same title – a large format, 213-page publication packed with stunning color photography, stories about bears, filming and conservation. The book follows the film crew as they travel more than 3,000 miles across Alaska and details the challenges, images and behind the scenes insights that took place during the production of the film.

Chris's book and PBS Nature's Bears of the Last Frontier DVD can be found here.

NATURE | Bears of the Last Frontier
Interview with bear biologist Chris Morgan | PBS

PBS Nature talks with Chris Morgan. In this two-minute interview Chris tells how Bears of the Last Frontier documents his immersion among the bears and his journey to explore the bear's world - their homes and habitats. Watch clips of Chris spotting a sleeping bear and talking to another bear that grazes up to him from 100 yards (91 meters) away. Chris's desire for this film is "for people to get to know bears for who they really are and to care about doing something for them."

NATURE | Bears of the Last Frontier
The Manhattan of Bear Country | PBS

In this one-minute clip from Bears of the Last Frontier, "Hour One: City of Bears" we hear about a special brown bear paradise on the Alaska Peninsula, well known to bear biologists and conservationists as a place where bears go about their business sometimes in quite close proximity, like nowhere else on earth. "These bears have become very, very socially tolerant because there are so many of them in this habitat and they seem to extend that tolerance to us." Keep in mind: "letting brown bears approach you like this anywhere else would be unthinkable."

Although the bears in this location were used to seeing humans and seemed to treat people neutrally, the film crew took many precautions - especially as they camped there for many weeks - including electric fences around their tents, bear resistant food containers, bear spray, and lots of precautionary measures. There it's the bears' world, and our crewmembers were merely respectful visitors.