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Ultimate Explorer:Deadly Encounters

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From grizzlies to coyotes, black widow spiders to rattlesnakes, people who have survived frightening encounters with wild animals relate their tales of horror, and experts tell us how we can protect ourselves. Airs Saturday, Oct. 11, 9 p.m. ET

In some places it’s hard to tell where the wilderness ends and our world begins. The Canadian town of Banff is actually inside a national park and hundreds of elk share the streets with humans. Encounters between the species, especially during the rut, are not always harmonious. Another Canadian town, Churchill, lies directly in the path of the polar bear. Each year, the town’s citizens must beware of the dangers of an invasion — including midnight food raids inside a family’s cabin.

Of course, many people prefer to see wildlife in the wilderness. But sometimes we get too close. One hiker who survived a bear attack kept his video camera rolling throughout his harrowing experience. Nature’s threat to human life is always greatest when we face the wild ill informed and unaware. Very few animals actually hunt humans; most attacks are in self-defense. Our best protection from the creatures of the wild is understanding their behavior - and avoiding potentially “Deadly Encounters.”