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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Expedition Wild is an educational series whose host goes on location to study species such as mountain lions and Kodiak bears in their native habitats. It's geared toward kids, but adults will like it as well, and all ages are sure to learn something from the host's vast knowledge of his subjects. Parents' only cause for concern will be cases in which animals' behavior might scare kids who don’t understand the reasons for it, as when a mountain lion strikes at a human in defense of her den or a pack of wolves teams up to kill an elk. For this reason, it's a real know-your-kid situation, but those who are OK with this kind of content will learn a lot about wildlife behavior.
What's the story?
Wildlife expert Casey Anderson takes viewers on virtual field trips to learn about animals in EXPEDITION WILD. From wolves to wolverines and everything in between, Anderson's lifetime of experience studying and working with diverse species equips him with knowledge he shares in this educational series. There's no den too far to visit nor animal behavior too odd to try out himself for this avidly curious adventurer.
Is it any good?
For those who can't traipse across the world to track elusive species themselves, Expedition Wild is the next best thing to learn about a variety of animals. Not only do they get to observe all different kinds of creatures in their natural habitats, they're treated to a likable tour guide in Anderson, who's even better in front of the camera than he is interacting with the species he studies. There's never a dull moment as he shares what he knows about how the animals have adapted to their specific environments, and his enthusiasm often yields further interest in the subject from viewers of all ages.
Of course, you can't paint an accurate picture of life in the wild without showing, well, the wild side of it, and that's as true of Expedition Wild as it is of every show like it. It's not all scenic and serene, after all; sometimes it's a fight to survive, and viewers get to see this in action. Even when Anderson gets up close and personal with domesticated ambassadors of the wildlife he studies, there's an element of potential danger to those encounters. Just be sure your younger kids understand that what they see playing out in the show is no indicator of how they should approach a wild or unfamiliar animal themselves.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what they learned from this show. Did it introduce you to places and animals you'd never seen before? Are you inspired to learn more about something you saw? How important is it that TV be educational?
Does the host always seem responsible in his actions around the animals he studies? How does his expertise on the subject allow him to do things you couldn't do in his shoes? What rules should you follow if you encounter an unfamiliar animal?
What wildlife is native to where you live? How have those species adapted to the geography and climate there? Do people ever have to adapt to new circumstances?
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