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Wildlife carries lessons for humans

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Parallels exist between animals’ lives and our own.





They say if you’re ever in the wilderness, never get caught between a mother bear and her cubs, because she’ll go to all lengths to remove you, whatever way she can. A mama bear’s first instinct is to protect her cubs.


We humans are very similar — even overprotective at times, and we too, act on instinct.


The Great Canadian Polar Bear Adventure, due to have its world premiere on CBC TV this Sunday at 7 p.m. EST, manages to portray polar bears in such a way that they become humanized, and we can relate to them.


Through a combination of fantastic wildlife photography and technologically advanced CGI animation, the bears actually seem to be talking in a believable way. It brings the audience right into the polar bears’ lives, allowing us to see the story not as viewers, but as participants.


The story is narrated by Megan Follows, a well-known Canadian television actress, and takes us through the life of a new polar bear mother, named Ikuk, who must teach her twin cubs how to survive in the extreme North. It’s no easy maternal role, given the many perils and dangerous obstacles that lie in their way. Polar bears are among the world’s most cherished and endangered species, and the cubs in this story, Cassie and Asak, are totally lovable.


Like every new mother, Ikuk’s twins depend on her for their ultimate survival, getting nourishment from her milk, and warmth from her body heat.


When the time is right, she needs to make her way from the warmth of her nesting cave to the shores of the Arctic where she hopes to not only teach her children to hunt, but also find food for herself after months of hibernation.


We, too, need to teach our children how to fend for themselves in our world. That doesn’t always include hunting seals, but it does involve learning how to stay safe on the streets, how to make enough money to buy food and shelter, and how to live a healthy, peaceful life.


The Great Canadian Polar Bear Adventure is a show that is entertaining and instructive for both children and adults, especially suited for families to watch together this holiday season. This one-hour television special encompasses lessons about our environment and the serious effects of global warming; about accepting others even if they’re different from you (like the Arctic fox, Pupa, voiced by Howie Mandel); about being aware of your environment and knowing how to sense danger; about paying attention to your whereabouts so you don’t get lost; and about sticking together in times of trouble.


Ultimately it’s about the value of family.



letters@metronews.ca

 
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