The misunderstood grizzly: A TED-Ed conversation on why brown bears deserve respect, not fear

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By Jordan Reeves

In the 1800s, around 50,000 brown bears — or grizzlies — roamed much of the Western United States. Today, those bears can be seen in less than 2 percent of their former range.

TED-Ed Educator David Laskin uses NASA satellites to track the shifting, interrelated patterns of today’s grizzlies and the plants they live among. In the lesson, “Tracking grizzly bears from space,” he shows how he uses data to help protect the threatened bears. TED-Ed invited him to speak to two other bear experts — naturalist wildlife guide Simyra Taback, who observes, studies and teaches about bears on a daily basis, and nature documentarian Keith Scholey, who witnessed these majestic animals in the wild while directing the newest Disneynature documentary, Bears. Below, their three-way conversation about the current state of bears.

What attracted you to the study of bears?

David Laskin: What got me interested in bears is that they…

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