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Bear advocate on TV documentary

Amanda Fehd
February 15, 2006

BEAR League
Director Ann Bryant speaks to a Glenshire
Elementary School class while being filmed for a PBS program.

Christine Stanley
/ Sierra Sun


Ann Bryant educating elementary students

Tahoe's bear defender extraordinaire will be on national primetime television this Sunday in a documentary highlighting how people must interact with wild animals as development reaches farther into their habitat.

A film crew came to Tahoe last summer and filmed Ann Bryant for five days in her role as executive director of the BEAR League. The organization advocates people "living in harmony with bears" and educates homeowners on how to prevent wild animals from damaging their homes and properties.

PBS will air "Animals Behaving Worse" as an episode of its "Nature" program this Sunday at 8 p.m. The show has already appeared in Asian and European markets and could be shown on PBS for three years.

"The program is about how people are encroaching into the habitat of wild animals," Bryant said. "It highlights what people are doing to solve the problem, and tells about what the BEAR League does to teach people how to behave around bears."

National Geographic has also filmed Bryant in action. A film crew followed her under a house as she shooed a bear that was hibernating. That production will appear on the National Geographic channel sometime in March or April.

Bryant is on call almost 24 hours a day responding to homeowners who report property damage or a sleeping bear under their house.

The BEAR League has a contentious relationship with California State Parks, which issues depredation permits in the event that a bear damages property. A permit allows the owner to hire someone to kill the bear. There is also a legal hunting season for black bears in California.

Nevada Division of Wildlife handles bear calls in that state, but does not issue permits for killing bears, according to Bryant.

- For more information on the BEAR League, visit www.savebears.org

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