5 TV Shows Starring Men Getting Close to Nature
In a fast-paced modern world, people are slowly detaching themselves from nature, whether they intend to or not. There’s a cult of people who love wildlife and the beauty of nature, but many prefer staying inside an air-conditioned room, playing with their iPad. So I think it’s fair to salute some of the most venturesome men on TV, because not only do they show us how things are done in the wild, but they are also brave enough to take adventure to the next level.
Bear Grylls (“Man vs. Wild” on Discovery Channel)
Bear Grylls’ job is to show viewers how to survive in extreme conditions, or at least cope until rescuers arrives.
Grylls’ playgrounds include the Sahara Desert and Amazon Rainforest, and his survival food ranges from maggots to tarantulas to the remains of a mountain-lion kill. And when fresh, clean water is scarce, Bear wouldn’t think twice about drinking his own urine to rehydrate.
As if those things are not extreme enough, Bear also knows how to fashion a wetsuit from seal skin, a shelter from a dead camel and a blanket from its skin.
Cody Lundin and Dave Canterbury (“Dual Survival” on Discovery Channel)
“Loose clothing creates a layer of insulating air, trapping the sweat, slowing dehydration and cooling the body,” said primitive skills expert Cody Lundin in “Dual Survival: Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.” Then he peed on his scarf and wrapped it on his head and face, leaving only his eyes uncovered to see. “Dual Survival” is similar to “Man vs. Wild,” but with two survival experts, Lundin, and Dave Canterbury, a professional hunting guide, tracker and host of the show.
Because of their different backgrounds, the two hosts sometimes argue about the “right” method to face a certain situation, creating a tension that makes the show more interesting.
Chris and Xand van Tulleken (“Medicine Men Go Wild” on BBC Knowledge)
Twin British doctors, Chris and Xand van Tulleken, explore the world of tribal medicine to see how modern and native medicines can compliment each other. They are bringing their knowledge to the chosen tribe, but they also come with an open mind to discover new and often shocking healing processes from tribespeople.
They have learned about the use of plants — to treat diseases like malaria or fertility problems — from traditional medicine men of the Bayaka Pygmies in the Congo Basin. On their trip to India, the twin doctors attempted to control pain with the power of the mind as they had skewers pierced through their cheeks and tongue. Following these doctors in their tribal journeys can surely teach us a thing or two about different tradition and believes.
Kevin Richardson (“My Lion Family” on National Geographic Channel)
Whom do you cuddle with at home after a long day at work? Your spouse? Kids? Your cats and dogs? None of those are the case with Kevin Richardson.
In his 700-hectare White Lion sanctuary, Richardson spends time with his 38 lions. His relationship with these lions shows the viewers that with the right handler, lions are as sweet as kittens. Richardson swims, cuddles and wrestles with the beasts, and makes it look easy to blend in with a lion pride.
However, the show also reveals the true primal nature of these giant cats — they are territorial and will defend to the death their space. And that makes Kevin a rare breed of human beings for doing what he does.
Steve Irwin (“The Crocodile Hunter” on Animal Planet)
Let’s honor the legacy of the late Steve Irwin, a television personality and wildlife expert who was famous for his show “The Crocodile Hunter.” He and his wife Terri hosted the show, in which they (mostly Steve) played with crocodiles and other wild animals. Sure, he got bitten once in a while, but he continued hosting the show like a champ, making it look like the bites didn’t hurt.
As a wild animal expert, Steve was far from intimidating; he hosted the show in his thick Australian accent and cheerful personality, wearing his notable khaki safari shirt and shorts. Unfortunately, he died in 2006 after being pierced in the chest by a stingray spine. But like father like daughter: today, Irwin’s 13-year-old daughter Bindi Sue hosts a wildlife documentary series on Discovery Kids.