A black bear gazes over snow-crusted brush in Whistler, British Columbia. The Canadian town is the site of the next Winter Olympics.
Whistler Mountain is home to a thriving community of black bears. The animals are drawn to the slopes because ground cleared for ski runs grows lush with grasses in spring and ripe berries in autumn, providing food for the bears' long winter sleep.
Olympic skiers competing in the 2010 games will likely race right over bear dens buried under several feet of mountain snow.