Undercurrent is an investigative podcast by the award-winning journalists at The Narwhal.
In Season 1: Bear 148, host Molly Segal investigates the life and death of a beloved grizzly bear in Alberta’s Bow Valley. Was Bear 148 in the wrong? Or were we? Either way, it was the bear that ended up dead.
This six-part series tracks the life and death of a female grizzly bear who ended up dying 450 km from her home range, spurring major public outcry.
For more than half a century people have been told to stay away from bears, that bears are inherently dangerous and to be avoided or killed. Can we overcome decades of bear scare to find a new way to think about and react to grizzlies?
Highways, camp sites, park trails, train tracks, power lines — these man-made features fragment grizzly habitat in all sorts of ways and yet we expect bears to navigate from A to B, in search of food and mates, without getting into trouble. If they don't, they become a "nuisance bear"
Rumours and conspiracy theories swirl around the decision to move Bear 148 out of her home range, leading to her death just two months later. But those stories obscure a much simpler and more troubling reality of the role seemingly innocuous human activities — like sneaking into closed areas or walking with dogs off-leash — played in Bear 148’s story
From her habit of snacking on goose eggs at a nearby lake, to cautiously navigating throngs of camera-wielding tourists, Bear 148 was well-known and well-loved in the Bow Valley. While she lived very close to people and learned to be comfortable among them, that feeling wasn't always reciprocated