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Alaskan bears are calling Johnny

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: June 29, 2012

OVERSEAS: North Devon wildlife guru Johnny Kingdom will be travelling to Alaska to film Kodiak bears.

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NORTH Devon naturalist Johnny Kingdom will travel a little further afield than normal this summer, when he travels to Alaska to film Kodiak bears.

Johnny will fly to North America with a film crew, ready to record a one off show for BBC Four.

He said: "The idea is to film the bears trying to catch salmon the same way I used to when I was a poacher."

The show will be aired some time around Christmas.

He said: "It's a very big project for me and one I've been trying to get off the ground for four years."

The show was given the green light after Johnny went to London to meet BBC executives.

He said: "I told them I was prepared to pay for it out of my own pocket because I've wanted to go for so long, but they said, 'there's no need for that, we'll take you over Johnny'. So I'm flying off to Anchorage and then on further in a smaller plane and landing on water."

It will be a big challenge for Johnny, who admitted he wasn't too good with planes.

"I am looking foward to it though," he said. "It'll be a big achievement for me."

As part of the trip Johnny will also try fly fishing for the first time and film sea otters and the Alaskan kingfisher, which is around twice the size of kingfishers in the UK.

He said: "I shall be very busy over there as it won't be getting dark until around midnight."

But Johnny, 73, said he didn't mind since he was just happy to be going.

"If I'm honest I didn't think I'd ever get there so I'm just delighted."

Johnny's latest book, The Man Of Exmoor, is now available in paperback. He is also releasing a new film, This Is Our Land, which was shot on his land on Exmoor.

Both are available from the man himself at Barnstaple Pannier Market every Tuesday.

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