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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this edgy nature series includes graphic photos of injuries from human encounters with wildlife (for example, a woman's scalp ripped from her skull). The host researches animals' typical behavior and seeks out close encounters with potentially dangerous creatures like grizzly bears, crocodiles, and elephants. Survivors of vicious attacks share their tales, and re-enactments capture the terror of the experiences. Because of its violent nature, use caution when sharing this with sensitive tweens and teens.
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What's the story?
In ROGUE NATURE, zoologist Dave Salmoni aims to discover whether it's possible to encounter a \"rogue\" member of a species -- one that might track and kill a non-threatening human. Salmoni relies on the advice of experts and attack survivors to tell him what to expect and what to be wary of. Armed with only his newly acquired information, Salmoni sets out into the wild to observe his subjects' behavior and determine whether violence is a chance occurrence -- or an inevitable fate.
Is it any good?
Each episode has a suspenseful build-up. But since Salmoni's actual time in the wild is so brief, the urgency is quickly deflated. What's more, his final observations often border on "duh" moments: In one episode, for example, he determines that while a species might tend toward peaceful coexistence with humans (from a distance, that is), it's always possible to encounter one who will inexplicably cross the line and attack. (Gee, really?)
That said, Rogue Nature has an intense, addictive quality that thrill-seeking viewers may enjoy. Just keep in mind that young kids and sensitive tweens may be upset by the close-ups of menacing teeth and claws, as well as the survivors' stories, the re-enactments, and the graphic photos of injuries.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the media's treatment of environmental and wildlife issues. Does the media raise awareness of these topics? Should it? How important do you think these issues are with the media? What other concerns outweigh them? Families can also discuss the relationship between humans and animals. How has the growth of human population affected wildlife? What steps have been taken to protect animals and their habitats? Do you think that's enough?