arrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upchevron-upchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upclosecomment-newemail-newfullscreen-closefullscreen-opengallerygridheadphones-newheart-filledheart-openmap-geolocatormap-pushpinArtboard 1Artboard 1Artboard 1minusng-borderpauseplayplusprintreplayscreenshareAsset 34facebookgithubArtboard 1Artboard 1linkedinlinkedin_inpinterestpinterest_psnapchatsnapchat_2tumblrtwittervimeovinewhatsappspeakerstar-filledstar-openzoom-in-newzoom-out-new

A Cameraman's Wild Encounter With Bears in Alaska

Explore Alaska’s wild side with filmmaker Ben Hamilton as he ventures into the largest national forest in the United States. Traversing land, air, and water, Hamilton journeys deep into Alaska’s great frontier and uncovers the raw beauty of the Tongass National Forest.

In this excerpt from his full-length documentary The Meaning of Wild, Hamilton spotlights the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act with stunning footage of this preserved paradise and its thriving population of bears. According to Hamilton's guide, wilderness ranger Don MacDougall, “It’s one of the highest densities anywhere in the world, a 1,600-square-mile island and somewhere between 1 and 1.2 bears per square mile.” Together, MacDougall and Hamilton reveal the beautifully connected wild ecosystem in one of the nation's wild treasures.

Download or order a copy of The Meaning of Wild. See more from Ben Hamilton. Learn about the sponsor of the film. Read a Q&A with the filmmaker.

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. To submit a film for consideration, please email sfs@natgeo.com. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.