Today, a challenge: bear with us.

We decided to shake things up at the show so we threw our staff a curveball, Walter Matthau-style. In two weeks time we told our producers to pitch, report, and produce stories about breaking news….or bears. What emerged was a sort of love letter for our honey-loving friends and a discovery that they embody so much more than we could have imagined: a town’s symbol for hope, a celebrity, a foe, and a clue to future ways we’ll deal with our changing environment. 

This episode was reported and produced by Simon Adler, Molly Webster, Bethel Habte, Pat Walters, Matt Kielty, Rachael Cusick, Annie McEwen and Latif Nasser.

Special thanks to Wendy Card, Marlene Zuk, Karyn Rode, Barbara Nielsen and Steven Amstrup at Polar Bears International, Jimmy Thomson, Adam Kudlak, Greg Durner, Todd Atwood, and Dawn Curtis and the Environment and Natural Resources Department of Northwest Territories.

And thanks to composer Anthony Plog for allowing us to use the Fourth Movement of his "Fantasy Movement," "Very Fast and Manic," performed by Eufonix Quartet off of their album Nuclear Breakfast, available from Potenza Music

Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate

United States


00:00:01hi I'm Robert Krulwich radio lab is supported by a rocket mortgage by quicken loans introducing their all new reach shield approval so if you are in the market to buy a home quicken loans will lock your rate up for ninety days while you shop to get started go
00:00:16to rocket mortgage dot com slash radio that are you a US listening to radio lab radio from W. NYC he %HESITATION I mean I I don't have a real good game plan for for how we start the show but in the in the in the spirit of the
00:00:45show maybe she's drop into that that radio up staff meeting that we had yeah and I I remember it was very it was the people is like %HESITATION what else can you put this next okay so set up recently we came up with this challenge challenge yet to
00:01:02for the radio lab staff %HESITATION we get everyone together an inappropriately stodgy conference room S. R. dialing in from Wisconsin yeah right %HESITATION yeah the big reveal everybody take a deep breath I had worn them ahead of time that something big was coming S. nothing out something that
00:01:29obviously %HESITATION isn't what anyway after we got over that little bump in the road I just I basically outlined this this challenge as we came up with a little %HESITATION a little plan to which basically boils down to earth on September twenty seven I hope we're gonna release
00:01:52a story for seventh story %HESITATION between today and that day you'll have to pay for poor record producer said story you'll have that much time to do it and we'll be putting it out matter what in other words you we're giving them a like a week to pitch
00:02:08a story and then a week to make and and you will have to do a story either about breaking news so something that just happened or news story about bears so I'm calling the whole thing families bears yeah I've had beers sort of in the in the room
00:02:31yes and you know I remember that I remember the tech I I I I in my memory so I tell me if I'm right if this happened of attack it was a text in this is this is one of those like you know right you talk about princess
00:02:41and the pea like this a P. fourteen mattresses down yes that just bothers you that one of the peas that's been bothering me is the length of time it takes to make the stories sometimes I can feel too burdensome and we wanted to just like do an experiment
00:02:57or we short cut the hell out of that district it was just the strange juxtaposition scene right I want you guys to go out now and find something in this hot new and sudden and just breaking like a real reporter for bears right that's that's very weird exactly
00:03:17it like and how you can cook that this year's %HESITATION makes my husband got and so on you as parents in the second this story has to be under ten minutes story must at some point yeah include audio from the movie bad news bears original the story recording
00:03:36from outside the office any has to be done in conversation you have to be staring somebody across the glass not going to track the line %HESITATION before I do your teens your parents are there any questions hello how are you defining freaking news had a reasonable question I
00:03:59would give you a little bit like I would be willing to accept something from last week otherwise today for well yeah bugs widens guilty fun right all right with one world I'm Jan I'm Robert going I'm sorry okay is radio at today %HESITATION we're breaking bad news bears
00:04:49okay so everybody went out from that meeting and again the task was to reiterate the breaking news story breaking news story or bears forebears week when we to do everything yeah you gotta go out you gotta get the tape you gotta come back put it the computer cut
00:05:01it up at a music right the thing we have eight producer so that would create that check that check out of activate producers means for team so that means we end up in the grand total of four stories yes starting who we start yeah how about Molly Webster
00:05:16and signing up with the well I will say that we have checked both boxes here we have a story that is both about bears and breaking news you're kidding knowing that you do get extra points so all right you there Matt I am great last week we give
00:05:37this guy a call %HESITATION my name is not Mateo and I am the director of public works for the city of Newark and you've got quite the task ahead here huh %HESITATION yeah these destruction hurricane Florence is making landfall devastating flooding and damaging winds we had hurricane %HESITATION
00:05:58working for it's going to last week one of the hardest hit areas is Newburn in new Bern new Bern North Carolina this is a live look in new Bern as the water has really overtaken this there's relentless rain and wind it's brought down trees if you've been watching
00:06:13the news at all for the past couple weeks you've probably seen Newburn on TV as you just heard it was one of the towns that was hardest hit by hurricane Florence homes were destroyed tens of millions of dollars of destruction trees were knocked down and with those trees
00:06:30have come power lines with the power lines down the lights go out thousands of people are in the dark around here you know we talk about the flooding of New York in we've got his store that will build that want to stop the foundation awhile in as director
00:06:46of public works it's Matt's job what apartment is %HESITATION card clean up you know not only the legal limit green trees and shrubs but also at the you know the construction debris from the help of that I think that is actually at the disposal fight it now look
00:07:01and a line of about thirty tractor trailer trucks yeah where the rollout start doing the pre cleaned up but %HESITATION what we call mad about was the %HESITATION the clean up of something far smaller trust me this there is not supposed to be here far less vital now
00:07:18but I'm sure they'll get them back where they need to be but maybe just as important this day your click will hear great %HESITATION %HESITATION come in and our downtown is a really beautiful six maybe eight square box where you see the beautiful porch is this is a
00:07:41local restaurant owner buddy Bengel and our town was settled the Swiss settlers and if you look up the meaning of Bern Switzerland currently there and so over the next three hundred years they really brand with that high school mascots the bear to have the city flag that has
00:08:02a little black bear on it like a not to their past right where they came from but it's also they've got all these players in the woods surrounding them Simon found out a lot of that there's no way okay are just black bear ever recorded from Craven county
00:08:14North Carolina in a way that is fair sort of obsession and one of the ways it's taken hold is that they have bear statues all over town stand up on their hind legs there about six foot tall if they're down for about three foot tall at a minute
00:08:28we're probably somewhere between six uranium around town with that being said you know players everywhere including the morning of September fourteenth twenty eighteen her case %HESITATION %HESITATION came points came in and by about mid day water started to seriously start rising again buddy Bengel we were up until
00:08:53seven feet by Thursday night I mean it it happened in some places just extremely quick and so buddy and a few other locals Prepon ourselves that we needed to go out and help people and they would go to areas outside of the downtown and they were just banging
00:09:09on doors say look guys in the next six to eight hours this water is going to be over your head in flood your apartment you need to get out now and get to a shelter meanwhile back in the downtown with with the waters continue to rise as close
00:09:22as we are to that whatever we received %HESITATION eight ten feet not downtown area this strange things started to happen those giant bear statues that had for years just in looking out over the town the rising flood water actually managed to kick them up you'll be all set
00:09:43on concrete slab but you know with the marijuana was received %HESITATION a lot of %HESITATION many of them were lifted cement and all and and we're just floating there standing upright bobbing gently along yeah a lot of a lot of middle school in there it just they they
00:10:02moved down the down town through the alley ways %HESITATION so local Florida just down the street others floated on for blocks just close your eyes here's the hurricane see %HESITATION then astonishingly watch the bears go and then as the water recedes there gently sat down and left there
00:10:49in the still slightly flooded waters of the downtown view photos that these bears started showing up sort of by relieve he is the son travel local residents started posting to social media and then server was %HESITATION Saturday morning you know the first day that the winds really had
00:11:19subsided and I was getting up to just says damage of everything that was outside but he's at home he wakes up in the morning he goes down the door of his apartment building he opens it up and it's just like my god this town has just been destroyed
00:11:33got branches everywhere the rain is still lashing and there was a lot of debris and stuff flying and when he looks just right in front of him right outside the door way right there on its side in kind of a little bit of a puddle of water is
00:11:48the better one of those floating bear statues had ended up at his apartment well and he immediately recognizes it as the city hall bear the you have on there are a lot of the colors and scenes from the city of Newbern for you have on there on the
00:12:04back of the bear is painted yellow like the new burn flag the middle of the bear is painted with the North Carolina state flag and then the shoulders and head of the bear are red white and blue and that bear represents our entire city and there was run
00:12:20from my doorstep and a German happen to just be walking by in the street who lived about a block block and a half away from me and help me pick the barrel he grabs the back legs the other guy grab front legs front back whatever they grab a
00:12:35March it across this I presume to be probably still six inches of water sort of washing through the street and and Florence is like not done right because it sat over the coast for a while so the winds of gone down but like the rains are still torrential
00:12:49there was like I mean flood watches a week out and we're trying to figure out what to do with it and there's a bush right behind city hall with a little bit of an alleyway in between the bush and the building so we put the bear in between
00:13:03there because we knew would be hidden enough yeah buddy Babel %HESITATION he took the bare back across city hall and %HESITATION plants bushes or well not a few days later they're actually getting ready for president trump was going and so Matt Montaigne director head of public works %HESITATION
00:13:22goes down to city hall to like prepare it I would ask why not do the all white high in a while you know we took a couple as he and his team they spot the bear go over to it so to us well we'll pick it up very
00:13:36easily they pick up the bear they market to the platform set it back on the concrete pedestal like it was is that %HESITATION Bolger screw one side of it into repairs foot and then put the other side to the concrete slab and we actually did that I'm all
00:13:50for the like the step back and take a take a breath for a moment Armand and then they raise a new American flag and then move on easy waiting a tear away just but I could no it's nice when you when you have something that represents your heart
00:14:19how does it may be to be painted plasticine beard image but still that's called grew back two is the you still there would you look at the grand scheme of it bears yeah it's not that important but you know cannot that will put a new bar back together
00:14:44we need you need assemble to get behind and our symbol in this city our debaters one and then %HESITATION wow all right so what there is no pairs so so what's %HESITATION that was number one story remember my next what's next %HESITATION we get well who is Pat
00:15:28Walters and battle have day and what while Manson remains missing me let me do this should we should we talk about this think about the thing okay yeah so this is a story about right are great right behind his bobcat this guy named rob thank you really nice
00:15:49Hey that fat and he's written rob is who exactly are out rob Devon is a comedy writer he works in the city for a really long time like ten years plus working for the cold airport one just basically like the high rise living city got yeah but about
00:16:05a year and a half ago he in his spouse sandy moved upstate if you drain out thank you it is the rain the last couple days but %HESITATION stuff is happening yeah they bought a little White House with a big yard and this beautiful mountain ridge in the
00:16:18distance but when it gets really rainy get super foggy and then it sort of disappears yeah the way that sometimes like a building would in Manhattan yeah relating things to building that's all I got those because and pretty quickly after they get there they realize there's all this
00:16:35food growing in their yard they have apple trees and then they find a bare tree watching kale and pumpkin pumpkins and hire the garden of Eden yeah had you ever had trees the group for fruit or food before no end rate in the center of this yard is
00:16:53the Peachtree and we had so many pieces I think we pulled like two hundred off the street meets Jammin pie insults and is an amazing pie Baker and so we had a ton of pie crumble so the next the next year rolls around and and rob is like
00:17:10rubbing his hands together like yes each time you know that they're ready because they come off when you gently tug at them and if they're not coming off the other not ready yet so it was in the part we are like waiting and ready for it to start
00:17:24to happen when he hears sandy yell from the back of the house it three jumps up because the back window and and sees it was a bear it was a it was a I mean I room you can't mistake it is sitting there sitting like Winnie the Pooh
00:17:44arts but and it was just reaching up I'm all lazy to the tree and was pulling off a peach and would like to look at it who'd poor its mouth and it would drop a pit and it would reach up for another one it was just having the
00:17:57time of its life and I love that it's sitting not only was it sitting it's back was to me which I found also can very upsetting in ways that I couldn't totally articulated the time I was like you would need to be more aware of the value that
00:18:12you took to someone's house taking their food and so he jumps up he grabbed this terrain that he uses to punish his cat so I grabbed it and I ran outside and I started shaking it what a woman took a video of it and then Cindy his bass
00:18:29is like by the house one thing like a dog and like their media was like oh no totally freaked out and it booked it back into the woods that way they walk up to the peach tree and peach tree has been like massacred the parts of this tree
00:18:51that are six feet are below were pretty much stripped of peaches and they're just always peach pits and like half eaten peaches scattered around and everyone of those is like a peach that they're not going to have like a pie crumble they're not going to have what was
00:19:05the feeling that you had just have th loss and and and determination I was like no I can't I don't want this to keep happening at this point I see the pieces that are left and I would like them to be ours I think the bears had it's
00:19:22Phil and this has to stop now so they go back inside and rob immediately Google's like how to deter bears and then at some point they come across a website that says the one thing that bears are very afraid of is human voices yeah so I was like
00:19:38I think that what I need to do is make a giant play list of podcasts and play it a podcast yeah it and so he takes this old iPhone with a broken screen and he then begins to build this bear deterring podcast device I have a telescope has
00:19:57a mechanical mountains I have one of those little power banks they even get to charge your phone when you travel and stuff and %HESITATION Bluetooth speaker but I connected directly to the phone and covers that whole thing with the recycling bin on top of these logs so he
00:20:10hooks the whole thing up and he loaded with the entire catalog of reply I'll get my %HESITATION by all about and I'm out of school hi all this is a show about the internet yes only got as the good to most satisfied Brooklyn yeah servile is this podcast
00:20:31by these two guys Peter Vogt and Alex Goldman and a whole bunch of amazing producers absolutely an entire team of incredible people who produce the show but anyway yeah I'm rob just happens to like a pile it would it was something that we were comfortable with X. yes
00:20:47you can mostly out sick this week welcome to the CGA Netflix to talking to guard so I mean I'm just curious what you thought about your podcast being used as a scarecrow how do you feel about that Alex I think I thought it was great but I thought
00:21:08the only I I thought that they were very limited ranges of application for sure I'd like to be like the duct tape of podcasts you can do all kinds of stuff with it yeah so far we've only figured out the to listen to your records he also thought
00:21:23like there's there's one aspect of a reply all that I might be particularly effective at scaring away a bear it's the last the last it is laugh imagining a bear that was like I don't think it's people alma walk a little closer I'm gonna proces tree and then
00:21:44it was like a whole that might be a little extra pop I do have the like I do mostly feel like I feel like I'm supposed to feel that out by mostly feel good again mostly feel good that it's just like useful even with the youthful with a
00:22:01black right I'd like for with the terrible ironies here's the city boy who escapes the city learns to love the peace and quiet and then has his peace and quiet invaded and turn it back into the city if if yeah I mean there there there that think Brooklyn
00:22:13just followed him there thank god with the with the radio going on too convertible it I'm sure though it kind of fell reassuring to have that like going in the background you know that your bare deterring machine is doing its job it was an instinctual choice that I
00:22:30felt like continually revealed itself to be the right one yes we goes out to check that first morning the peaches are all safe goes out in the evening reply all of continuing to play gene gene gene how are you like state goes out and there's no sign of
00:22:45any bears and he gets like ten pages of the tree and then the next day no bears again I can explain this sweet but I don't feel the treated my bones the way you do elixir still talking about the internet and there's like twenty pages off the tree
00:22:59over the days how many peaches did he capture from the bay well he had counted that the bear had eaten about forty peaches based on them and the yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah the it kind of counted in his rage you guys he was cleaning up the the
00:23:15math at how many peaches the bear had taken from him the way it struck out I got we got about as many pieces as the pair did he thinks that he and sandy got like forty pages to so like by the end of each season he's thinking I
00:23:28wouldn't %HESITATION at least I didn't lose weight we tied and so anyway he he ends up writing this entire story on Twitter put it up on Twitter and I was like this is a story about what's happening in my yard right now and if it got a big
00:23:42response and I was a little surprised I think at the number of people who took the bears hide but I was like what's the problem why can't the bear have some kind of peaches real like me %HESITATION apologists yeah do they understand that there are others food sources
00:24:01and then the one peach tree and rob doubles yard like I it clearly no no yeah the way I see it is like if rob had domesticated the bear raised it to only understand that food came from that tree and then sent it out in the woods they
00:24:17would be justified but other than that that's ridiculous I am not taking the very not eyes if I am about like the morality of it it's just the bare doesn't like riff file fraud as the file that's like very straight forward for me rob get the peaches do
00:24:33you think on any level the bear like got something out of listening to the show now now and we just don't as I am with bears in mind what would a show designed with bears in mind sound like Radiolab my god enough Radiolab for bears the bears yes
00:25:05we've been under served as well as the audience listen real talk here okay do we we like bears we like we we we could do many more at the %HESITATION I got a %HESITATION in particular we've run across so many in it and they they are staff is
00:25:18run across so many things about bears it we've got we've got a whole bear season we could do a four one lead do that we can just decide that right now we we could we could we could try again see if with anybody in the house is going
00:25:30to do a non yes we are excellent we have two more okay and so next up %HESITATION is mac kiltie and Rachel %HESITATION sick with breaking news I hope we'll see at least one is to go Ballin minutes or something minute yeah and go okay well if we
00:25:46start all the way at the tip top we drove out to %HESITATION Oakridge New Jersey which is about an hour and a half west of the city here okay drove out for a story about a bear surprisingly definitely heard dogs barking in the video %HESITATION that's about it
00:26:06but not just any pair of famous bear the most famous very could say yeah you're going my name's Matt I'm Rachel %HESITATION were reporters so we we showed up totally announce this house %HESITATION woman answered the door a little suspicious we explain who we are hi madam eventually
00:26:26you name it Marissa Merz McAllen we we need %HESITATION has been great %HESITATION just got home from work Rachel yes I right messages well nice to meet you so great what it's from the backyard really beautiful where there's this huge forest yeah this is it and then we
00:26:45try this the kids to play on my listeners basement in there during the war surely someone %HESITATION sounds great purchase to Minnesota %HESITATION yeah I guess so the we were just curious lake I'm immersed was tell us a little bit about the first time she saw the bear
00:27:06like when when did you did she tell you about that when did you first yeah my wife's on the first time I'd caught up just a glimpse of him but %HESITATION at the time I videotaped was after the third time I saw him so as the summer of
00:27:17twenty fourteen it was Joe who was a week it was night time is about six o'clock at night or so and I was hanging out on my deck when he sees the spare coming from the woods up towards the street a black %HESITATION so I ran out I
00:27:33got my cell phone and just started videotaping with an old a Samsung note three it's like a shaky video racer just like painting the the the phone all over the place to try to find it with the phone recess outside yeah she gets another video was she's taking
00:27:51video too got a video of me taking a video the bear I don't see it so he starts walking up his front yard he's going down his driveway and he's looking he's still looking for the spare and really like you to see little picturesque like slice of suburban
00:28:08America is this like some easy some trees of road green grass everywhere and then there it is there it is all the sudden great soon as in on this lake blurry blob that is moving across %HESITATION his neighbor's driveway ends at its grainy but what you see is
00:28:29this black bear that is a bipedal bear walking on its hind legs walking across the street like a human home god that's the bare that's the bare the bear is just straight up walking on two feet you could totally be like a kid in a bear suit like
00:28:48it's like yeah actually the first time I saw it I was like that is what my dad looks like when he stumbles out of the hallway in the middle of the night without his glasses on but still motoring yeah it's motoring and also sort of pondering ring with
00:29:01purpose okay so great great great great great great great great great great great great great okay okay okay so Greg's filming this whole thing yeah I'm over in the front yard of my house watching this walking there that's when I see him walk up my neighbor's driveway into
00:29:17the street walking towards me I am walking backwards and the bears the parents of crossing the street over into another neighbor's front yard walk into the front yard right now and %HESITATION somewhere off camera you hear their neighbor you know that the bear right okay the the video
00:30:04last for about three minutes and then yeah Greg stops were in so we got the video we watch a go through the woods and stuff five go inside a start giving the kids bath and stuff I just take it I want to share with some people so I
00:30:19thought on you too you know and a half hour later after an upload date go and send out a couple emails to lake some friends and family just be like Hey I saw this weird wild they're walking %HESITATION like check it out and that's it go to bed
00:30:33and then the next day Greg checks font and start seeing my emails popping up again and again and again and again and it's people from viral media companies it's family members somebody put on Facebook it was spreading on Facebook and I was blown away but then all these
00:30:51other people stepping up videos because this bear is being spotted all over town some of the videos are like they're coming out at like nighttime like dinner time %HESITATION like walking around the woods works better than you dont but there's also videos of this page like strolling down
00:31:08neighborhood streets popping his head into garbage cans go into people's back yards it was like underneath his woman stack it was amazing he would come like right in all right and the two of them really twenty feet away he looked up at me the man I contact the
00:31:26debate get stolen %HESITATION there's fear tree over there showed up across the street from this woman's house and we saw him one time there get repairs out of the tree it was great to see him you know because he's famous amazing everyone he walks on two legs eventually
00:31:43folks in town give him the name petals paddles from the word by cattle he hit like Good Morning America funny today walking tall and like all the national news a black bear walking on its hind legs he walks on his hind legs with the agility and ease of
00:31:57any human completely up right like a human and everybody just kind of like oh my gosh like what a fun cute adorable animal doing something looks like a human that's so fun well everyone which is where we get to Lisa hi your dad so basically we heard about
00:32:21Lisa she was like a big player in this whole like love affair with pedals three we are inside we sit down and a dining room table okay like where when did you first learn of the bear %HESITATION I don't remember the exact date and I even have a
00:32:37hard time with years but I think it was in twenty fourteen that she was on Facebook I saw a post about this fair and he was in a video walking by and I was like my god this is so sad like you you don't think it was like
00:32:52funnier now I thought it was sad white is a video maker sad well absolutely Sir actually works in animal rescue and she explained that you know so rather than being like just an odd that Mike well for her when she watched the video what she saw was a
00:33:07bear that was injured yeah so the thing is that if you look at some screen shots of petals close up you'll see if he really had no hands one was like amputated was like a stop it was like pretty much missing and the other one was just broken
00:33:22mangled in Lee said that's why he walked on its hind legs I mean I'm sure he ate whatever berries or whatever he could get at least that was how he because he couldn't use his paws is why he was walking around these neighborhoods because he was starving any
00:33:37couldn't beat himself so her first thought was we have to help the spare so she gets in touch with a couple and they start to go funny campaign help save pedals raise twenty five thousand dollars in like four days to basically dart ham transport in and house and
00:33:53at this place called the wildlife orphanage there's a couple other wild bears there couple of team like retired circus bears a few well there's a pond a lot of trees and it's private you know it's not this too so the very last thing to do was petitioned the
00:34:08state in New Jersey just you know like do it because that's against the law for us to just start a bear and put him in a truck and take on so they get this petition going to end up going like around the world like four hundred thousand signatures
00:34:21one hundred thousand yeah they sent it off state we're all ready to go everything was in place and the state says we're not doing that really why well so I got in touch with the press people AT and J. D. E. P. which is like the environmental department
00:34:39of New Jersey and basically they said we have no interest in commenting on this why would they not even comment well I think you can understand that if you know the rest of the story of petals he has a lot more to the story dot hero now right
00:34:56let's hear the rest then %HESITATION okay well so what you basically have to you have a collision of two ideas about black bears and what they are and what they need okay so that's John well I'm I'm a writer at large with the New York times magazine longtime
00:35:10petals fan yeah I'm more %HESITATION I would I knew more about his earlier work like before he got famous he's written a Lotta animals including pedals and and John explained to us that what you had was this divide where on the one side you had people like Lisa
00:35:23who when they looked at the bear they thought that that there needed help it's injured seems to be struggling we gotta get out there but on the other side you have the state of New Jersey and they came out it from a completely different view point where the
00:35:38%HESITATION you know were just as interested in quote unquote helping the bear and making sure that the bear could you know %HESITATION live it's I don't know best life I suppose did say and %HESITATION but they wanted to go out in a very different way as far as
00:35:54they were concerned it wasn't it was a wild animal %HESITATION and you do you don't take a wild animal out of the wild unless absolutely necessary and the fact that you saw the spare walking on two legs they basically saw the bi petal bear is a real survivor
00:36:09this is like a feat of evolution like this pair of all to survive we should just let him do his thing it was still out there being a bear so we leave the bad there it's the right thing to do so this is this is the part of
00:36:21the story about pedals that we we haven't told yet %HESITATION so pedals was first found in twenty fourteen for showed up yeah showed up again the next summer and shut up even sixteen yet even early twenty sixteen their videos of pedals and then nothing and then a bear
00:36:38that had become a national sensation is dead the bear known as petals so in October of twenty sixteen news broke that pedals had been killed was killed during the bear hunt on Monday we told you about in the annual bear hunt that takes place in New Jersey in
00:36:53pretty quick a familiar story played out outrageous morning over the killing of a faint black bear the risk Inger protest death threats against whoever may have killed the bear **** **** death threats against an innocent hunter against himself family people have actually threatened to burn down as business
00:37:13people posted photos of his home his wife's name and in the midst of all this I think everybody out there should be going after the state of New Jersey people were angry at the state state in New Jersey did nothing about the bear where was he when people
00:37:30reported that they're being injured for years that this is their fault where were they that I was so rough yeah I've had my moment Nina but people send me bear things you know like I have I have like the little see the bear on top of the radio
00:38:00and Sabrina got me a picture that looks just like petals from an beautiful %HESITATION artists that doesn't even know pedals but me this picture of a bear that looks just like a man just cool and so she gave me one of the %HESITATION you know it's just nice
00:38:16people thought in now they saw how hard we fought yeah but the book is the best it really a and what's the writer's name John well yeah I talked to him he was nice yeah I remember being like you wanna what does John actually wrote an obituary for
00:38:36pedals you have a copy of the magazine the school that's just look really quick is within your times magazine's annual lives they lived issue %HESITATION got it I just I just thought you know the way I've always you know I I was sort of like the lies they
00:38:53lived with fiction you know it's about these people's lives so many people France but it's also just %HESITATION interesting way to talk about the world that we live in renown federal misspelled one reason why I find conversations by animal so interesting is because the animals always have no
00:39:13comment right that there you basically have groups of human beings standing around this is like a little screen shot objects the petals standing yeah %HESITATION trying to %HESITATION figure out what to do with it walking towards a mailbox just fetch in the mail yeah and this is actually
00:39:34the picture that I used on his our version of like rest in peace pedals for like a memorial page yeah %HESITATION yeah I don't I mean you want me to I thought like why do I mean just to read the end of the peace but yeah yeah yeah
00:39:48that be great okay it is impossible to know the circumstances whether the hunter knew that bears identity before he or she fired whether pedals you did spend some time on all fours had been distinguishable from an ordinary bear whether he had been standing upright in the wilderness looking
00:40:03preposterous and conspicuous inconspicuously like himself that is the bears posture the very proof of his resilience might have marked them for death was never clear what we %HESITATION titles exactly you could argue that allowing pedals to live in the woods and be hunted like any other bear with
00:40:19an active respect a validation of his wildness you could also argue that it was a Kristin lapse of human compassion title stood for something we may never agree what was wait do you guys even have did you there wasn't a clip in there you can use a clip
00:40:45from the movie do you have a clip from movie well a matter of fact we do %HESITATION yeah we got a class resists we're just on the thing and it's in the select okay %HESITATION we see %HESITATION we call %HESITATION she on your stupid rules where again she
00:41:10and yet in doing so you follow that the beauty of it now all right now we're gonna do we're gonna take a little break are gonna clear the air gonna come back with a couple producers who %HESITATION who have a little more respect more in a moment hi
00:41:28this is chase instead still calling from Seattle Washington radio ATA supported in part by the Alfred P. Sloan foundation enhancing public understanding of science and technology in the modern world more information about Sloan at W. W. W. dot Sloan dock work when Donald Trump ran for office he
00:41:46said I want the best people less than two years later many of the people around trump appear to be making money off his presidency cabinet officials contributors perhaps the trumps themselves trump ink is a podcast from W. NYC studios in pro publica this fall we're back digging deep
00:42:05on who's profiting and half hour subscribe trumping wherever you get your podcasts and find out how you can help our investigation Chad Robert Radiolab raking bad news bears and we've got three bears story so far and maybe I you know maybe this is the moment when I should
00:42:26admit that everybody broke for bears yeah %HESITATION though is you know we like what they thought you know and you woke up in the morning full of them figure in excitement which you do the hard news or would you right away and what you see is what you
00:42:41do the bad news early well what I was hoping actually and it was that I mean I admittedly mauling Simons had a little bit of like the her can you just come in but I what I was really hoping was that somebody was gonna get a solid rock
00:42:53solid breaking news about bears kind of thing and I actually had one in my sights that I was just sitting on waiting to see if anybody got it so us something that the trump administration did though %HESITATION most people don't know actually the seeds of it were planted
00:43:06during the Obama administration was the grizzly bears came off the endangered species of they were noticed it and in the wake of that there was about to be for the first time in almost fifty years a hunt around Yellowstone because the Grizzlies have gone from like you know
00:43:20whatever was a hundred left to now around seven hundred they've also started encroaching on hikers campers hunters and ranchers and so the idea is that once you do list and which should be a success say they came back we can to list them now but also the same
00:43:34kind that means that we can start column Meshullam yes of the ranchers are are geared up to get their licenses and head out there and have this hunt and at the last moment %HESITATION there was a court case and a judge said no no not time to do
00:43:46the hunt and that happened a couple weeks ago and have not just out hunting season real was started off right days before the hunt or whatever it was and what was the reasoning from the judge was %HESITATION I mean I think clearly like some activists to come over
00:43:57and say he is not they're not yet ready this will damage the population and so yeah the judge had kind of like that maybe that the administration hadn't shown enough recovery to warrant hunting and but that then just two days ago that that really got sort of like
00:44:13either confirmed or up held or whatever it is and now that functionally actually means that the Grizzlies not delisted and that it is still on the endangered species list and there's even some among bear concerned folk that you talk to their they're not quite sure what to think
00:44:28because if you're gonna have an endangered species list you need to occasionally have an animal come off of it he need when you need to win otherwise you just lose the political will to even yet totally do it or you or you just show that doing it is
00:44:40pointless you're gonna lose him eventually sold on and never get off right now you need someone to get off and I guess you know you could probably go back and forth for a lot about whether it's time for the Yellowstone Grizzlies to be offer not but %HESITATION yeah
00:44:53so nobody got to that but %HESITATION but still we have one more %HESITATION story and it comes from and make you an end but that's not this is about bears somewhere usable really I have another yes it's already in use in the sense that its recent but it's
00:45:10breaking news in that were saying stuff that is true about the world that has not been reported before %HESITATION %HESITATION so it's breaking news about bears yeah I think so okay where where do you start we start in the far north in the arctic islands in Canada the
00:45:30coldest winter yes place you can imagine with an emu at hunter all right named David cook can work born in your girl in the blue is a four thirteen fifty nine N. early remiss mockery of four hundred seventy people and everybody knows everybody pretty well anyway he told
00:45:51us the story of a hunt that he was on that was unlike any hunt he'd ever been on before where he caught a bear that was unlike any bear he'd ever seen before well what happened what April %HESITATION two thousand ten remember we're going to compare your should
00:46:06Nash morning Schaaf no on top Nash whether he his wife set out on their skid used to %HESITATION in which is good you can do is a snowmobile it's just all right they're called up there yeah it's sort of like the snow machines that uses the mechanical device
00:46:18yeah %HESITATION they happen there's good news they head out across the sea ice %HESITATION and and they're heading towards the island that that that are playing and camping in this empty cabin and who got to the cabin and Logan the character but the cabin was damaged by some
00:46:33bearish while they do that immediately yeah and then they said let's go back to another cabin up to route through low but everything we start heading back war for clock in the afternoon as a school finder in the cold getting close to a cabin the OSHA hill and
00:46:49execution trucks coming down doctored a cabbage fresh bear tracks around this cabin there were not there before no %HESITATION going forward internal coming back there were there and that's the approach and they see that this cabin is also been ransacked the bear has gone in load a lot
00:47:07the window K. well we'll continue on and if you run into another cabin so this is a third cabin they pass while broke the door opened major mission said is it normal for a polar bear to go into cabinet and the throw mattresses I know not for return
00:47:23really do that so with that tracking it again will put you to track follower and at this point these are getting a little worried because these tracks coming toward the community to look your tech going faster a fourth cabin ransacked and a fifth Jesus also been through and
00:47:42right next to the fifth there is a six cabin I noticed that open so I put in a ticket to cartoonish cab %HESITATION through the this is this presumably the next destination for the bear right so I would little further than that going around it and sure enough
00:47:58there was hiding in a cabin he had his head sticking out he sure did body and started running so I did chasing the the card can occur establish your information raffle honest let back on my hair we're just glad you're standing up you know and why weren't you
00:48:22afraid a low eighties no room at the doctor in a very before she was used to polar bears the despair he said this feeling that it was different something was off that I take a shot at it I hit it he kills the better he does okay and
00:48:39then we went to the they approach it on their skin do they get off this bear looks range it's our of Braun's their blood and the thunder too so ordinary grew to question number one should catch a grizzly bear before and better for my first time and the
00:48:58lyrics are dark shirt just let that got bruh Saudi drawer shock full order that's it was dark circles around its eyes one major thing so he takes it back to town and he checked in with this government officer and this guy takes a look at it he's like
00:49:14David at the just might not be a poor over it might not be able to back it might be a hybrid bear a hybrid there yeah like but %HESITATION a little bit of both a little bit of both and David had never even heard of that before I
00:49:27die have never actually heard of that it's not a common thing that happens but a few years before David spare extremely rare creature shot and killed in the Canadian arctic first one ever was caught in the White have you ever heard of a grower a grisly polar bear
00:49:41hybrid in the media is the best David Attenborough include an additional two thousand brown bands interbreeding got really excited about it so we've known for a while all that it's happening out there and even David has encountered a few more out there in the while I run into
00:49:57a put mother polar bear with to lieutenant the Cup for Sarah hyper show Q. system some kind of cross breeding between these two species but the the crazy twist was when when this guy David could Tana shot this thing it will this particular Bisley berry scented offered genetic
00:50:15testing they told me it's called the first second generation bear the mother was south polar bear have recently and a father with a four gristmill this bear the David shot is the first indication that these bears are for tile no way which is something that you wouldn't think
00:50:35about a horse and a donkey say would would breed together make a mule those mules can't then have offspring with the I thought that too difference because you're different species right these are different species they branch off evolutionarily like hundreds of thousands of years ago pretty much the
00:50:51same time that we broke off from the Neanderthals and so be like us meeting any under tall I would in the you know the the crown heights bar or something and going home person and creating a really specific it sounds like you have %HESITATION Franklin have April tenth
00:51:12coming wow that's too they branch to the the policy the grisly branch at the same time as us the Neanderthals are around the ballpark I mean all these are ranges so okay so how far apart they actually are out so okay so I thought that that's not that
00:51:31doesn't work we'll eat it kinda shouldn't were but wildlife manager Marcia Brannigan says well it sort of does the biological terminology that we use for species other breaking the rules after regular real names are the rules we made right number fuller and grizzly bear hybrids has been growing
00:51:51over the last few years it's evolution in action we're seeing it take place before on roller there might not be considered a rare creature for too long and the sort of general idea about this whole new species is a link to the changing climate because now these two
00:52:05species are overlapping water temperatures are moving Alaska and Canada is grizzly bears north of all polar bears are losing much of their ice and spending more time on land so for instance polar bears have hair covering the bottom of their feet grizzly bears do not %HESITATION but in
00:52:21hats their pads yeah and it but then the grower bears has like partial here covering so like maybe you get the best of both worlds %HESITATION and you know grip or whatever but also your your warm holes so it's a good thing to be one of these half
00:52:35right hybrid vigor best of both worlds kind of thing this is the new bear in town yeah two visited the hose on not the song of Frankenstein creatures their valuable new hybrid the may become increasingly common so that's that's kind of like and and that's the story we
00:52:58got interested in and that's the story that has been reported but then last year this paper came out and it kind of completely changes the story and are we at the place where you're where the the bears become breaking news yep yes this is that I actually think
00:53:15it's it's even more interesting than that first store it's way way weirder it could more dramatically play out like on HBO miniseries yes okay land on me so last year a paper came out in that side as we talk to Marcia Brannigan yeah is one of its co
00:53:30authors and what they did is they basically made a big giant list of every sighting of a hybrid bear and of all the genetic analysis to like every time we've seen this happen in the wild and all the information we could possibly gleaned from that and what you
00:53:45found was that every single one of these hybrids can be traced back to one female polar bear one single bear he named bear one zero nine six zero well the thing is that well who does she is she is literally the mother of all hybrid bears in the
00:54:10wild one now so there's something about this polar bear that seem to attract grizzly gentleman or she was just interested in grisly gentleman who %HESITATION we mostly just have kinda guesses of how it went down since there were no witnesses this is a Lisa McCall she's staff scientist
00:54:26at polar bears international but what we think could have happened is that there was this female polar bear and maybe she did have some you know interesting personal preference for brown bears or maybe it was simply that she is in estrus and a male she was there heat
00:54:40or yeah so its use basically hit so she's giving office sent that she wants to me okay they leave the stinky foot trails and so males will follow them on the ice what are those smell like all my gosh you know I've never smelled but I know to
00:54:52a male polar bear they smelled good that's all right now %HESITATION but as the female puts down the smelly foot prints the males are like %HESITATION yeah and they'll follow her for you know days and it's cute they'll actually put their feet right in the foot prince Ali
00:55:06follow her yeah so maybe there is just this really aggressive brown bear grizzly bear male who followed the female tracks and could of fought off other polar bear males maybe this is a case of of like like a not so in sensual but if you look at sort
00:55:24of like the genetic analysis it looks like mated with two different early bird she had babies with two different grizzly bears and with one of them she had babies years apart %HESITATION so she's had three letters with with with with your different grizzly bears interesting and all the
00:55:41offspring are from those three non hybrid there so this is narrowing in scope yeah really yeah it's not like %HESITATION this is this yeah this like species a wide you know new adaptation it's just like here's this one lady who has this one kick web strangely the man
00:56:00I guess but he is also there is a possibility that it's like those are just the only dudes around but I was thinking like all my god maybe this bear is a genius is like ice change around her interesting like I need to save my DNA and the
00:56:15best way to do is to put it with a grizzly because they're doing better than I am that's hilarious I I mean yeah imagine that bears a that would be pretty good unfortunately the hybrids are kind of a mass to be on and they weren't really well suited
00:56:30for land or four eyes they were such an in between bear %HESITATION that they really eat just weren't that fit really grizzly bears are so well adapted to life on land and finding food you have got the big comp they've got the big white head they've got these
00:56:43long claws for digging they don't have for on the pads of their fique they don't need it polar bears are so well adapted for the ice they've got a much smoother sleeker head that helps them get internet is the almost they've got sicker sharper claws to grab seals
00:56:58and help them walk on the ice there for is hollow %HESITATION which helps trap warm air against their bodies and the high bred there like this weird in between so their head is kind of like not really sleek but not really boxy kind of this weird in between
00:57:12they don't really blend in that well with the ice or with the land because the kind of this creamy color right and then there for itself was depending on where the furs on the body is like a mix of hollow but not hollow like so yeah it it
00:57:25backfired on or if that was her but I like that idea so these Bisley bears are just probably not the new horizon of the bear that will be %HESITATION and on top of that so so okay so if you're imagining the family tree right so there's a mom
00:57:44a polar bear with these two grizzly bears at different times right K. so there's that but to the dad in the step that one of the kids a daughter and she's the only one who's had kids herself to the third generation came from her but it turns out
00:57:58that all those third generation bears including that bear the David Cabana shot that bear the the daughter bear she made with her father late there's some sort of incest part to this yeah that's so weird and not a limited with the other better that kinda like dated the
00:58:18step dad sort of thing yeah sort of yeah she slept with the same to do that %HESITATION mom did all my gosh were now we're going from HBO to like Shakespeare yeah early Greek tragedy yeah thing that's a weird family tree sold now all of a sudden it
00:58:35looks less like a species wide movement for life will find a way and looks a little more like this is one crazy interpret family while so what do you make of that maybe this one like crazy inbred family is the first you know quite awkward attempt acts what
00:58:52may become like you know maybe like evolution driving forward making shaky step after shaky steps major is launching its not like pretty the way you expected it's raunchy because sex like like animals try things like this could maybe this is gonna keep going but but the only time
00:59:12will tell there's no way for us to know one last thing I which is kind of an afterthought but but maybe not because well it's not clear whether our polar bear family is is an awkward evolutionary step forward or just just plain freaky out what we do know
00:59:41is that nature is not exactly shy when it comes to being sexually creator seven have yes so it turns out at the museum of sex they have this exhibit called the the sex lives of animals and my brother was coming into town learn shy with the horns and
00:59:58we thought incest is on theme I would look like and both of them I'm glad you went there because my mind went there and I was like well I sort of organizes before a lot of into thing but just so you know but then it just made it
01:00:11all that more and comfortable but anyway okay let's go I also didn't know about any of this guy and so if you guys yeah here we really but we we got we got in that room and and a very nice woman in Steffi Spicer showed us around and
01:00:27we learned just like nature is trying some crazy stuff can you give me like a like a little local fans have sex through their blowhole whoa I guess why no I'm tortoises have crazy tongue **** what that comes out of no where it looks like something from a
01:00:44feeling on the ducks have sex with each other while they're dead somehow your have threesomes %HESITATION there's all kinds of but stuff what is that is that I don't know at one point we were sort of surrounded by a **** is another thing I am certain I feel
01:01:01like I've been in here %HESITATION out of the a little too easy and then we're like they need like an abstinence room for brother sister we have a minute where's celibate space free passes to the ruby bouncy castle I don't think you got it we do and there
01:01:41Linda that's how you ended their show right there as well in their show and then a sex museum I think I %HESITATION did not have that coming in we do a lot of Nasser and his brother Jim is a gem yes him real quick special thanks %HESITATION %HESITATION
01:01:55thanks to win the card thanks to key while for these for the song bears on for Mikey well Mister Clark thanks to you phonics quartet for their song which accompany pedals this rise to fame songs called fantasy movement for very fast and manic and was off their album
01:02:09nuclear breakfast and Stephanie Spicer at the museum of sex and also of course one zero nine six zero and thank you so much for this is seven throughout this will %HESITATION idea into the hopper and come out with the with what we can do this kind of crazy
01:02:25yeah yeah okay rooms to go and go hibernate he got everything he will say goodbye genom rhyme ever call which one %HESITATION and I'm sorry we thanks for listening the message press to started message and this message

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