Coming face to face with a bear is an encounter seems to end in one of two ways. In either terror-filled escape or, let’s be frank here, tragedy. This apparent theme doesn’t seem to matter to the Discovery Channel, however, because it’s just announced that it’s launching a new series, Man Vs Bear, which pits people against bears in various physical competitions. And even though the idea is ever so highly questionable, one thing is certain: The liability release waivers for this show must’ve been longer than a well-coupon’d CVS receipt.
— Discovery (@Discovery) October 31, 2019
The show was announced by the Discovery Channel on its twitter page, with more details given in this Hollywood Reporter article. The announcement was accompanied by a super-brief clip. In it, a contestant leaping over logs as he seemingly tries to outrun a freakin’ grizzly bear. Oh, by the way, the series title, teaser clip, and currently available photos give a strong impression that it’s only men competing against the bears, but according to Discovery Channel’s press release for the show, women will be competing too. (Homo Sapiens Vs Bear must’ve not had the same ring to it.)
Unrelated Man vs. Bear, Hanna-Barbera
As you’ve probably already guessed, the show centers on competitions between people and “nature’s top predator,” including contests of strength, speed, and stamina. That title given to the bears by the Discovery Channel is up for serious debate, however, considering all of the insanely crafty feats octopuses are capable of.
There will be three bears competing in the show, including Bart, Tank, and Honey Bump. Each bear has its own speciality, with Bart being the strongest, Honey Bump being the fastest, and Tank being the smartest. By the way, for a sense of scale, Bart measures 8’6″ and weighs in at a bowel-quivering 1,400 pounds.
To the Discovery Channel’s credit, it seems like the producers of the show have gone out of their way to make sure the bears’ safety and comfort comes first. The press release for the show dedicates a lot of explanation as to the treatment of the bears. They highlight the facts that the competitions take place around their natural schedules; only include exercises that they’d otherwise do anyway; and come with lots and lots of treats. All three bears have lived their whole lives in captivity, and the Discovery Channel says they would not last in the wild.
The show will air on the Discovery Channel December 4, with each episode declaring a (human) winner. At the end of the season, there will be a “super-human showdown” between the best contestants and the bears, culminating in some kind of “face-to-face” interaction with Bart. It’s not clear if that’s a wrestling match or something else involving claw-to-hand battle.
What do you think of Man Vs Bear? Are you excited to watch the show, or do you think it’s unethical to have bears participate in these kinds of competitions? Let us know in the comments!
Images: Discovery Channel