3.2 Million, 13.6% Audience Share
08/11/2006, BBC Two, 8pm
From The Times
The volcanic peninsula of Kamchatka in eastern Russia was declared a World Heritage Site ten years ago. It is an area of heart-stopping beauty, filled with volcanoes and geysers, pristine forests, lakes and salmon streams.
It is also home to the densest population of brown bears in the world. Charlie Russell, a 65-year-old Canadian from southern Alberta, spends seven months of the year living as a recluse in this magnificent wilderness, where he raises orphan bear cubs as their surrogate mother. "We're fearful of bears," he says, "because of the stories that have been passed down for centuries about how horrible these animals are. In truth, they're not horrible. They're incredibly wonderful." You only need to watch this bewitching programme to be convinced that he is right.
- David Chater