________________ CM . . . . Volume VI Number 18 . . . . May 12, 2000

cover Grizzlies. (Champions of the Wild Series).

Christian Bruyere and Ian Herring (Directors). Christian Bruyere and Ian Herring (Producers, Omni Film Productions Ltd.) and George Johnson (Producer, NFB).
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 1997.
25 min., VHS, $39.95.
Order Number: C9197 093.

Subject Headings:
McCrory, Wyane.
Grizzly bear-British Columbia.
Wildlife films.

Grades 3 and up / Ages 8 and up.
Review by Katie Cook.

*** /4

Part three of a thirteen-part video series shown on the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, this offering looks at grizzlies as an endangered species. The focus is the saving of endangered species, not necessarily on the grizzlies, themselves, although many grizzly facts do come out in the course of the video. The narrator's voice is cooly British and easy to listen to. The naturalist, Wayne McCrory, is articulate, but he may be difficult for some younger children to understand. He uses words like "epitomize," "indicator species," and "ancient natural trilogy," terms which younger viewers will likely not be able to understand. However, the narrated sections are neatly interspersed with the interview sections, and children should not be lost for long.

The footage is spectacular. With the Rockies of British Columbia as a background, how can you lose? The pictures of the bears are breathtaking, amusing, and sad. The encroachment of humans into this wilderness area, especially with clear-cut logging, seems a crime. This perspective, of course, is the view that the producers of the video intended to bring across.

Grizzly information is also included. The regular grizzlies, black bears, Kootenay grizzlies and the rare white spirit bears (Kamodi bears - a subspecies of black bear) are filmed. Viewers see grizzlies marking their territory, rubbing trees, reproducing, playing, and fishing. The cubs, especially, are wonderful to watch, and the producer gives plenty of opportunities to do so.

This video is especially recommended for all classes which study bears specifically, or for biology or environmentalism classes in general.


Katie Cook is a social studies teacher and a teacher-librarian at the Steinbach Regional Secondary School in Steinbach, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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