SECRET LIFE OF BEARS

January 31, 2023 Des Moines Civic Center

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RAE WYNN-GRANT
Carnivore Ecologist

Rae Wynn-Grant is dedicated to wildlife ecology research, but it wasn’t until life brought her to Kenya at age 20 that she had ever taken a hike, pitched a tent to camp, or seen a wild animal. While there, she studied East African lions—top carnivores that live in close quarters with local communities—and observed that problematic interactions between the two groups threatened conservation efforts. Now, Dr. Wynn-Grant is finding similar patterns for North American black and grizzly bears.

As a scientist with the National Geographic Society’s Last Wild Places Initiative, Dr. Wynn-Grant works to protect and restore iconic wildlife populations—grizzly bears, bison, pronghorn, cougars, and more. But there’s an obstacle: roads, fences, and cattle ranches crisscross the habitat of these wide-ranging animals. Dr. Wynn-Grant studies the movements and behaviors of the bears in an effort to find ways to improve the relationship between local communities and the powerful wildlife that surround them.

Join this committed carnivore ecologist for a fascinating look inside the secret lives of bears and a report from the front lines of the mission to help humans and carnivores coexist peacefully.

TOPIC PHOTOS
© Photos provided by Peter Houlihan, Michael Nichols, Evan Thornton

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