Bears of the Last Frontier
Nature joins adventurer and bear biologist Chris Morgan on a year-long motorcycle odyssey deep into Alaska’s bear country to explore the amazing resiliency and adaptability of these majestic animals as they struggle to make a living in five dramatically diverse Alaskan ecosystems: coastal, urban, mountain, tundra, and pack ice.
Hour One: "City of Bears"
Bear biologist Chris Morgan sets up camp at a remote spot in the heart of Alaskan wilderness, alongside the largest concentration of grizzlies in the world. It is June in the Alaska Peninsula. The sun sets well into night and bears are taking advantage of the long days to feed, mate and raise new cubs. Morgan tracks their progress as they feast on the riches of the season and re-establish the complex hierarchal social dynamics of bear society. Along the way, he experiences close encounters with bears, observing brutal battles among males during mating season as well as tender moments between a grizzly mom and her cubs. Part one of three.
Hour Two: "The Road North"
Morgan heads north to Denali National Park, where the mountains loom over treeless plains and bears get by on a diet of thousands of berries a day. The grizzlies share the enormous park with foxes, wolves and moose — and with one intrepid bear biologist and his team. Morgan continues his journey north on a bone-shaking, 610-mile motorcycle journey from Denali to Prudhoe Bay along the only Alaskan highway to reach the Arctic. Prudhoe Bay, a once pristine area at the edge of the Arctic Ocean, has been changed forever by the oil industry. Part two of three.
Hour Three: "Arctic Wanderers"
In early spring, Morgan joins local hunters in Barrow, the northernmost city in Alaska, as they go out on their own hunts, facing some of the same challenges as the bears. In late spring, Morgan travels to the North Slope of the Brooks Range, where countless thousands of caribou cover the ground for miles. The grizzlies are waiting for them, as they have for thousands of years. Part three of three.