Science and Nature

Great Yellowstone Thaw

Journey with Kirk Johnson to Yellowstone, where wolves, grizzlies, beavers and Great Gray owls survive one of the greatest seasonal changes on the planet. As the temperature swings 140 degrees, cameras capture how the animals cope.

Episode 3

53m 36s

Its summer in Yellowstone and with soaring temperatures comes the risk of wildfires that could devastate the ecosystem. When a major fire breaks out in the Beartooths, a team is scrambled to see if the Great Gray Owl family has survived. And how is one particular wolf pack feeding its 11 pups?

Episodes

  • Episode 3: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 3

    S1 E3 - 53m 36s

    Its summer in Yellowstone and with soaring temperatures comes the risk of wildfires that could devastate the ecosystem. When a major fire breaks out in the Beartooths, a team is scrambled to see if the Great Gray Owl family has survived. And how is one particular wolf pack feeding its 11 pups?

  • Episode 2: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 2

    S1 E2 - 54m 11s

    Spring in Yellowstone brings new life and a break from the brutal temperatures of winter, but the dangers aren’t over. The wildlife families now face a torrent of water cascading down the mountains as the Great Thaw gets underway, and the beavers are in particular danger.

  • Episode 1: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 1

    S1 E1 - 54m 10s

    Surviving winter can be tough for the wildlife of Yellowstone, and will this year’s weather favor predator or prey? Will the grizzlies that emerge early survive, and why are the wolves and Great Gray Owls in danger of starvation? Plus find out how Yellowstone’s unique geology affects the mighty bison.

Extras + Features

  • Wolves and Ground Squirrels: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Wolves and Ground Squirrels

    S1 E3 - 3m 4s

    One pack of wolves near Jackson has a huge number of pups to support. So how are they doing it? Wildlife cameraman Charlie Hamilton James heads out to see what the wolves are managing to eat in a year that’s not been kind to Yellowstone’s top predator. The answer is found in a man-made oasis.

  • Beaver Evacuation: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Beaver Evacuation

    S1 E3 - 2m 56s

    Wildlife cameraman Jeff Hogan is astounded when he witnesses something on the Snake River that he’s never seen before. A beaver mom has made a decision to move her kits away from the lodge. As she makes the treacherous journey over the dams and upstream with a kit in her mouth, Jeff follows her and tries to work out why she’s made this unusual decision.

  • Next on Episode 3: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Next on Episode 3

    S1 E3 - 30s

    Its summer in Yellowstone and with soaring temperatures comes the risk of wildfires that could devastate the ecosystem. When a major fire breaks out in the Beartooths, a team is scrambled to see if the Great Gray Owl family has survived. And how is one particular wolf pack feeding its 11 pups?

  • Next on Episode 2: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Next on Episode 2

    S1 E2 - 30s

    Spring in Yellowstone brings new life and a break from the brutal temperatures of winter, but the dangers aren’t over. The wildlife families now face a torrent of water cascading down the mountains as the Great Thaw gets underway, and the beavers are in particular danger.

  • Beavers at Home: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Beavers at Home

    S1 E2 - 2m 58s

    A family of beavers lives down on the Snake River in the south of Yellowstone. Kirk takes a look at their huge dam and takes a peek inside their lodge using an infrared camera. As Spring begins to take hold, the beavers are about to reap the benefits of all the fresh new vegetation - and get to work.

  • Baby Bears: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Baby Bears

    S1 E2 - 2m 32s

    Grizzly expert Casey Anderson is keeping an eye on a mom and her two 4-month-old cubs. They’ve emerged from hibernation and are facing the outside world for the first time as a new family. But Spring can be a time when these young bears are at their most vulnerable.

  • Grizzly Bear Jackpot: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Grizzly Bear Jackpot

    S1 E1 - 2m 55s

    Towards the end of winter, a male grizzly emerges out of hibernation in Greater Yellowstone. But he’s come out early, and as he braves the blizzards and ventures down the mountain, will he find enough food to survive?

  • Biscuit Root and Bear Hugs: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Biscuit Root and Bear Hugs

    S1 E1 - 2m 58s

    Grizzlies eat a huge range of food, from carcasses to moths and many different plants - and lots of it. Biscuit root is a bear’s favorite snack as each one emerges from hibernation, and Kirk and Casey set out on the mountain to find and taste it. Plus, a camera trap reveals how large a grizzly bear hug really is, and what other creatures are around in the forest.

Schedule

WETA Passport

Stream tens of thousands of hours of your PBS and local favorites with WETA Passport whenever and wherever you want. Catch up on a single episode or binge-watch full seasons before they air on TV.