Black bears in South Lake Tahoe, California (USA) have grown increasingly bold and are less likely to enter torpor in Winter due to the year round source of garbage left unattended from residents and vacation home renters. I discovered loud noises coming from this dumpster in an apartment complex while out at night searching for urban bears. This bear emerged from the dumpster carrying a bag of garbage. This image is part of an investigative series on urban wildlife and how problem solving to find food in urban environments might even be fostering a greater intelligence in urban animals. No bait was used for this image. In telling the story of urban wildlife, one of the major reasons some urban animals are thriving is due to the problem of unsecured garbage.
Dumpster Bear / 10 of 30 /
Cities Gone Wild
Cities Gone Wild is an exploration of three savvy animals: black bears, coyotes and raccoons. Each of these urban carnivores are uniquely equipped to survive and even thrive in the human built landscape at a time when urbanization is decimating habitat for less adapted wildlife. I tracked these three carnivores in cities across the United States, to reveal how they are using our infrastructure and resources to carve out a unique place in society that might help them survive an uncertain future.
Published in the July, 2022 issue of National Geographic Magazine