The 3-Part Television Event "Wild Alaska Live" Captures Life and Survival in the Alaskan Wilderness

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21 July 2017
Wild Alaska Live
Courtesy of PBS
"Wild Alaska Live"
Premieres Sunday, July 23 at 8 PM ET on PBS
(Check your local listings)
          Teams for PBS and the BBC – including Emmy Award®-winning hosts Chris Kratt and Martin Kratt – make their way to Alaska this week for the live, three-night, multi-platform natural-history adventure that premieres July 23 at 8:00 PM ET, with new episodes on July 26 and 30 at 8:00 PM ET.  One of the final events in PBS’ “Summer of Adventure” lineup, “WILD ALASKA LIVE” turns the cameras on a must-see natural spectacle that plays out across the vast Alaskan wilderness, where some of the world’s most remarkable animals – bears, wolves, beavers, moose, orcas and eagles – gather by the thousands to take part in Alaska’s summer feast, an event never before captured live on television.

          Over the course of its three nights, “WILD ALASKA LIVE” will visit several locations, including points near Juneau and the Tongass National Forest, where the team will look for black bears and bald eagles; the vast Kenai Fjords National Park, in search of orcas and humpback whales; and the wilderness of Katmai National Park, where brown bears and elusive wolves live and hunt. “WILD ALASKA LIVE” will also introduce viewers to local experts who explore the relationship between Alaska Natives and the animals among whom they co-exist.
          “We’re using live TV technology to amplify the story of one of nature’s great spectacles as it happens,” said Bill Margol, Senior Director, Programming & Development, PBS. “This cycle of feast and famine here in Alaska has been going on for millennia, but this is the first time PBS viewers have had the chance to see it live as it happens.”
Wild Alaska Live
Courtesy of Jarod Miller
          Episode 1 focuses on the vast and majestic landscape of America’s largest and most rugged state.  Chris and Martin Kratt anchor the night from the Tongass National Forest.  Correspondent Liz Bonnin reports from Katmai National Park, one of the most remote locations in the United States, surrounded by bears gathering to feast upon the converging schools of salmon. SteveBackshall checks in from Glacier Lake where he tracks the progress of the salmon migration.
          Episode 2 continues the adventure with hosts stationed outside the capital city of Juneau on the Mendenhall Glacier. The KrattBrothers track bald eagles in Tongass National Forest and get experts’ views on how the overall 2017 feast season is progressing.  Steve Backshall helicopters onto the mammoth Juneau Icefield where he tracks the wildlife that lives in, under and around it, and reports on its impressive summer melting patterns that set the entire feast into motion each year.  Liz Bonnincontinues to explore bear behavior and looks for wolves.
Wild Alaska Live
Courtesy of Gareth Wildman
          Things wrap up in Episode 3, when the team documents changes happening across the state in just one week and find answers to the questions raised in earlier episodes. The salmon are expected to be in full-run mode, working hard to overcome large beaver dams as bears and wolves make rivers across the state into their own personal cafeterias. Mission wolf migration and health is featured. Liz Bonnin checks in for the last time with bears, tracing how they go from salmon fishing along the river banks to salmon feasting in the woods.
         “WILD ALASKA LIVE” will encompass state-of-the-art filming technologies and live reports from the air, by boat, and from the rugged Alaskan terrain. In addition to the live portions of the programs, PBS and BBC crews, as well as the hosts and correspondents, have created short taped features in the past few weeks that are designed to enhance each live broadcast by telling the bigger stories of each unique species.

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