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WRD News Story

DNR Video on Black Bears Wins National and International Awards

Georgia has a thriving black bear population and an increasing human population.  More people has resulted in encroachment into traditional bear range, driving an increase in bear and human contact.  In an effort to help educate people about bears, wildlife biologists with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) and the DNR Film and Video Unit produced a video, “Where Bears Belong: Black Bears in Georgia,” that details ways that bears and humans can peacefully co-exist.  This film is the recent recipient of five awards from four different national and international film competitions.

    “The Division is extremely pleased at the recent accolades awarded to this DNR film,” says WRD Chief of Game Management Todd Holbrook.  “We already felt that the film provides a great deal of easy-to-understand information and knew that the film looked great – this only reinforces those conclusions.”

The “Where Bears Belong” video provides general information on bears in Georgia, their life cycles, natural habitats, foods and traditional roaming grounds and the conflicts that sometimes result as bears attempt to make new territories or find non-traditional cuisine.   It also documents some of the work that WRD biologists conduct in an effort to understand bears and their needs.  In addition, the video demonstrates how bears are captured and moved only when necessary and as a last resort.  

Awards received include two acknowledgements at the International Wildlife Film Festival - a Finalist Award out of all entries and Best of Category-Government Agency.  The organizing group of this prestigious festival aspires to be the pre-eminent wildlife film, television and media organization whose activities are aimed at educating people of all ages about the natural world and judges include biologists, scientists, wildlife television media, journalists and others.  Some of the other winners at this year’s festival included National Geographic Television, Animal Planet and Discovery Channel.  The video also received finalist status at the Telly Awards – one of the most sought after awards in the television, commercial and video industry.  “Where Bears Belong” won a bronze award in the 35th Annual Awards in Media Excellence festival.  This is an international competition that celebrates excellence in media communications.  Last, but not least, this film was given “Special Achievement” recognition under the Video Other category at the Association for Conservation Information Awards.

How can you get a copy of “Where Bears Belong?”  It’s easy, visit the DNR Film and Video Unit’s website at or call (404) 657-9851.  Films are available for free for a 15-day loan period or can be purchased for only $19.95 each (checks, credit cards and purchase orders accepted).  

For more information about black bears in Georgia, visit the WRD website at or call (770) 918-6416.





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