Los Angeles (AFP)
They will not fight to death like in the circus games of ancient Rome but bears and humans will still compete with each other during physical tests in the context of a US television broadcast soon, announced Thursday Discovery Channel.
"Strength, speed and endurance": the male and female competitors will be faced with "challenges inspired by what bears naturally do in nature", such as rolling trunks, climbing trees, gobbling food or the traditional game of "tug of war", details the chain in his statement forwarded to AFP.
Two years ago, Discovery Channel had already organized a swimming race between multi-medalist Michael Phelps and a white shark. The swimming champion was not really confronted with the man-eating squale. Only a computer image appeared on the screen, which had showered the enthusiasm of some viewers.
For this new show entitled "Man against Bear", the candidates will this time be in the presence of a grizzly (brown bear typical of North America) for the final test, subtly named "Human Prey". To avoid any temptation, however, humans will be placed inside a large sphere of steel that the bear will have to drop into a crater, for competitors to ride in the opposite direction.
Fighting - staged - wrestling or boxing between semi-tame bears and humans was popular in Europe in the 19th century, says Discovery Channel.
But according to the producers of this program, the bears are never forced to participate in the events and are "rewarded royally with their favorite treats before, during and after each round".
The show is recorded in the presence of animal welfare specialists at the Wildlife Refuge where they live in Utah. According to its website, the center has already provided some of its residents for the filming of "Game of Thrones" and "Dr. Dolittle 2".
Two of the bears participating in the show were rescued by a ranger after their mother was shot by a poacher in Alaska, and the third was born in captivity.
The first episode of "Man versus Bear" is due to air on December 4th.
© 2019 AFP