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Glacier Park's Night of the Grizzlies Previous Broadcasts

KQED Life: Thu, Oct 23, 2014 -- 7:00 PM

For nearly 60 years, rangers at Glacier National Park could never verify a fatal bear attack... until one summer night in 1967. The dramatic and tragic story of that night, and how it eventually influenced the fate of the grizzly bear in the continental United States, takes center stage in the historical documentary GLACIER PARK'S NIGHT OF THE GRIZZLIES. Veteran film and television actor J.K. Simmons (Law and Order, Juno, Up in the Air, The Closer) narrates the special. The story begins on the afternoon of August 12, 1967, when seven young park employees set off on long hikes to two remote areas. That night, grizzlies would attack all of the campers, killing two young women - Julie Helgeson and Michele Koons - and severely mauling one man, Roy Ducat. The other four escaped by climbing trees. For everyone involved, it remains an unforgettable night of crisis, intense fear, bravery and, ultimately, grief. Archival material, photographs, re- creations and gripping on-camera interviews with survivors, witnesses, family members, journalists and biologists, provide a complete account of those events. That night also marked a watershed moment for bear management in the 21st century. Post-World War II, Americans viewed grizzly bears - the most powerful omnivores on the continent - as relatively safe tourist spectacles. In the years following the fatal attacks, grizzlies were hunted to near extinction. GLACIER PARK'S NIGHT OF THE GRIZZLIES provides a broad historical perspective about bears, the concept of wilderness in the American psyche and the sweeping changes in wildlife management which culminated in the landmark Endangered Species Act.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Fri, Oct 24, 2014 -- 1:00 AM
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