The black bear emerges from his den, sleepy and slow-moving. His fur is matted and shaggy, and he’s mammoth, easily weighing over a couple hundred pounds. But this wild creature is not a denizen of the wilderness: His winter home lies underneath an abandoned house in South Lake Tahoe, California. This populous resort town offers plenty of garbage and easy-to-snag food, and as a result, these urban bears weigh about 25 percent more on average than their counterparts in wild areas.
Corey Arnold’s photograph offers an intimate look at the underappreciated animals that humans are increasingly sharing spaces with. The photo is one of 21 chosen by National Geographic’s photo editors as our favorite wildlife photos of 2022. (