[BEARS: Imagination and Reality.  At the San Diego Natural History Museum from October 21, 2000 through January 2, 2001.]

Teacher's Guide: Exhibit Overview

People share territory with bears when they camp, fish, or hike—almost always without problems. However, most people know bears only through zoos or from pictures in films, books, and magazines. Almost everyone has loved a teddy bear. You now have an opportunity to learn more about these wild animals. The museum exhibit focuses on two of the eight species of bears in the world: the black bear and the grizzly (or brown) bear. The exhibit features the following sections:

Images of the Bear
This section explores the myths, legends, folklore, and art which surrounds bears.

The Vanishing Bear
This section examines the decline of the grizzly bear in the lower 48 states in the last 300 years.

Bear Encounters
People who have had encounters with bears relate their stories in video interviews.

World of the Bear
This section features the natural history of the black bear and grizzly bear based on current scientific understanding. Life size dioramas and smaller displays compare the two species.

Bears in Southern California
This section looks at the history of bears in Southern California from prehistoric times to the present—including the expansion of the black bear's range into Riverside and San Diego counties within the last two years.

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Exhibit Overview

Background Information


At the Museum

Pre- and Post-visit Activities


bear drawing

Teacher's Guide | Bears | Exhibits