02/27/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Steve Searles, The Bear Whisperer: Shooing Urban Bears Away Humanely

Born in Orange County, California, Searles is a former hunter who began working with the Mammoth Police Department in 1996. Now, instead of using tranquilizers or bullets, Searles uses a combination of firecrackers, flares, rubber bullets, air horns, and shouts, to convince other resident bears he is the "biggest, baddest, meanest bear" in town. It is a strange method, but it appears to work. In one year, Searles managed to reduce the urban bear population from 40 to 30.