Background Info

In California's Lake Tahoe, Wild Chronicles follows a brave volunteer who is on a mission—to save the lives of wayward black bears. With their habitats invaded by humans, black bears have developed a taste for fast food and the comforts of new construction. These house guests, however, have worn out their welcome. See the scare tactics that are saving bears from a death sentence.



What foods to black bears typically eat in the wild?

Show Answer

Black bears typically eat berries, nuts, grasses, and small animals such as insects.


Kate, the bear specialist, says "if a bear wants something, he can usually eventually figure out how to get it." What makes bears so hard to manage?

Show Answer

"Bears are not only smart," says Kate, "but they're persistent, they're very hungry, and they're incredibly strong."


How many black bears live in North America?

Show Answer

About 750,000 black bears live in the United States, Canada, and northern Mexico.


Does relocating "nuisance bears" stop their interaction with humans?

Show Answer

No. Once bears get a taste of human food, they keep coming back for more.


What do Ann and her colleagues at the Bear League use to scare bears away from human settlement?

Show Answer

Ann's toolkit includes explosives (such as blanks) and smoke bombs (such as pepper spray). Bear League volunteers also make loud noises at the retreating bear.

For Further Exploration


Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry

black bear


large animal (mammal) native to North America.



environment where an organism lives throughout the year or for shorter periods of time.

Encyclopedic Entry: habitat


Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.


Caryl-Sue, National Geographic Society

Page Producer

Jason Wasser

User Permissions

For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service.

If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact for more information and to obtain a license.

If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please visit our FAQ page.


Some media assets (videos, photos, audio recordings and PDFs) can be downloaded and used outside the National Geographic website according to the Terms of Service. If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the lower right hand corner (download) of the media viewer. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media.


Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service.


Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. You cannot download interactives.