Animal Planet

For centuries dogs and cats have inhabited our homes and captivated our hearts. Sleeping at the foot of our beds, awaiting our arrival home from work and comforting us when we are feeling down, these lovable creatures have become a part of our families and – in some cases – our best friends.

Yet when we discuss our furry companions the conversation often turns to the longstanding question: are you a dog person or a cat person? And why? While we all have our own thoughts and opinions about what the correct answer is, no one has been able to solve the mystery…until now!

On Friday, September 24 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, Animal Planet will finally settle this grudge match – 5,000 years in the making – with the all-new one hour special DOGS VS. CATS. Pitting these furry frienemies in everything from biology to pop culture, this special will prove once and for all which pet wins the war between dogs and cats.

No questions are too off-the-wall, and no contests are off limits in this no-holds-barred match to determine a winner in the ultimate battle of the species. DOGS VS. CATS will get to the root of pet lovers’ obsessions and preferences by posing poignant questions to pet owners about each species and by matching up actual cats and dogs in head-to-head competitions to gauge friendship, athleticism, cuteness, history, cleanliness, intelligence and cost. With seven rounds of varying events used to settle the score, the first species to capture four rounds will be crowned the superior pet.

With everyone from bar patrons to preschoolers weighing in on the subject, viewers will be treated to fun facts about each species, learn their histories, and witness unscripted, raw interviews with everyday pet owners.  With the help of the hilarious – and often destructive – antics of kittens and puppies, DOGS VS. CATS pulls out the best, the worst, the extreme and the wacky to settle the war once and for all!

When a million mourners flocked to Michael Jackson’s memorial service in July 2009, the world reflected on all the eccentricities of the late creative genius.

He lived his life in the middle of the biggest media circus on Earth, but early on Michael Jackson found solace away from it all with an unlikely and trusted companion – a chimpanzee named Bubbles.

Now, for the first time, Animal Planet presents viewers with the remarkably touching tale of the world’s greatest pop icon and his much-loved chimpanzee when MICHAEL JACKSON & BUBBLES: THE UNTOLD STORY premieres Sunday, August 29 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT.

Airing on what would have been the King of Pop’s 52nd birthday, this special features rarely-seen footage of Jackson and Bubbles and talks to those who witnessed the relationship first hand (including Jackson’s Sister Latoya).

The revealing one-hour documentary also explores the complex psychology behind Jackson’s devotion to his chimp and other animals and takes a look at where Bubbles is now – more than 20 years later.

Bubbles the chimp was once the world’s most famous pet and for six years the primate and his owner – singing sensation Michael Jackson – were inseparable. Bubbles joined Jackson on his 1987 “Bad” tour of Japan and on other trips all around the world. Their lives seemed to mirror each other: Jackson the man who never had a childhood and Bubbles, the chimp who grew up raised as a human. So, what became of the world’s most famous chimp? This fascinating documentary highlights the path Bubbles’ life took once he hit adolescence – at which time Jackson could no longer care for him – to where he is today.

Through freak storms, deadly outbreaks of disease, forest fires and attacks by hungry predators, the Hughes, Galt and Stucky families fight against all odds to preserve their ranches and keep the tradition of the American West alive.

Beginning Friday, July 9 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT, Mother Nature will make or break these three Montana ranching families by testing their wits, skills and relationships in the compelling new Animal Planet series, LAST AMERICAN COWBOY.

From the multi-generational ranch family committed to working only on horseback and the modern rancher who uses high-tech equipment, all-terrain vehicles and even a helicopter, to the small nuclear family determined to make ends meet, all will do whatever it takes to continue to live and share the land they love.

Relying on family bonds and personal strength to keep the tradition of the American West alive, LAST AMERICAN COWBOY premieres July 9 on Animal Planet.

From birthing calves in the late winter to taking the steers to market in the fall, for these families it comes down to one paycheck per year. Offering viewers a glimpse into an authentic way of life – few get to see first hand – this eight-part series reveals extraordinary stories of grit and determination as these families struggle to protect their livelihood for future generations. Thrusting viewers into the stunning landscape of Montana and the remarkable world of cattle ranching, LAST AMERICAN COWBOY reveals the rawness of the American West that continues to test the character of these families every day.

The Hughes family, the smallest of the three ranches, is as close to “Little House on the Prairie” as you can get. Scott and Stacey Hughes, along with their three-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter, live on a 4,800 hectare ranch and manage their herd of 500 Black Angus all alone. In contrast, the Galt ranch is one of the largest ranches in Montana with over 40,000 hectares, 5,500 cattle and 100 horses. It is so vast that owner Bill Galt manages it from the sky in his own helicopter. Finally, the Stuckys are traditional ranchers choosing horseback over ATV’s and doing most of the work by hand. Keeping these traditions alive is deeply important to the entire clan and as the ranch continues to grow and expand, the Stuckys hope it will be passed down through generations.

Highlights from LAST AMERICAN COWBOY include:

LAST AMERICAN COWBOY – “New Beginnings”

Friday, July 9 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT

At the start of Montana’s calving season, the Hughes, Galt and Stucky families brace for the hard work, stress and pressure of the coming fight to raise herds of newborn cattle while the long, brutal winter seeks to bring the season to an end before it even begins.

 

LAST AMERICAN COWBOY – “A Bitter Storm”

Friday, July 16 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT

The three Montana ranching families get word of an approaching blizzard. Already exhausted, the cowboys are thrown into a frenzy as everyone scrambles to protect the calves already born while new ones keep coming.

 

LAST AMERICAN COWBOY – “Hard Lessons”

Friday, July 23 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT

As calving season approaches its end, disease, hay shortage and financial hardship force the cowboys to make difficult choices that impact not only their season but also the future of their ranches and the heritage they strive to protect.

 

An unexplainable entity sends one family’s dog into convulsions, a beloved Yorkie goes mysteriously missing and two pet rabbits begin acting strangely before their untimely deaths.

When pets are afflicted by spirits, animals aren’t the only victims. Often more sensitive to other-worldly apparitions than people, animals are sometimes subject to intense paranormal activity.

Taking an intimate look at stories of pet owners whose animals act as mediaries of the afterworld, Animal Planet presents THE HAUNTED premiering Tuesday, July 6 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT.

Stopping at nothing to rid their homes and pets of paranormal spirits, these owners call in teams of paranormal investigators to examine and record the eerie and unexplainable events in the hopes of finding peace and resolution.

As if trapped in the middle of a ghost story, find out what happens when supernatural spirits afflict victims through paranormal pets in THE HAUNTED, July 6 on Animal Planet.

Featuring intense tales of bizarre behaviour, records of disturbing disappearances and unexpected deaths, this 10-part series brings unsettling true stories of animal hauntings to life with the help of cinematic re-creations, witness testimonies and paranormal evidence. Using complex equipment from ghost boxes to Electro Magnetic Field readers, the investigative teams study each haunting to make sense of the strange smells, sights, sounds and behaviours.

One frightening investigation leads a family to exorcism in a desperate attempt to abolish the evil demon that afflicts them and their family pet. In another harrowing tale, after months of mysterious behaviour from the family dog, a mother and father discover unexplainable blood smeared on the wall of their infant’s room.  Recording sounds and capturing ghostly images so shocking they are hard to believe, THE HAUNTED reveals what it would be like to be trapped in the middle of a ghost story.

Highlights from THE HAUNTED include:

THE HAUNTED – “Terror at Maple Dale Farm”

Tuesday, July 6 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT

In peaceful Connecticut, Donna Santos spent many years rescuing, saving and providing a safe haven to unwanted animals. But everything changes when Santos and her family are terrorized by a malicious presence that wreaks havoc on their animals. Their horses — routinely locked in their regular stalls at night — are suddenly moved around into different stalls in the morning. Someone, or something, has moved them and Santos learns it might be linked to a horrible fire that destroyed the stables decades before.

THE HAUNTED – “Lost Souls of the Asylum”

Tuesday, July 13 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT

Two computer company owners buy an old building which previously housed an insane asylum and later an animal testing lab. When they begin hearing unexplainable sounds, seeing shadowy figures and receiving complaints from their workers, they call in a paranormal team for help. Together with assistance from their police dog Ben, the team gathers evidence that suggests the location is haunted by spirits of tortured souls.

THE HAUNTED – “Murder at the Black Horse”

Tuesday, July 20 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT

When Al Stempo and his wife Maria purchased a 200-year-old building to open a new restaurant and bar, they had no idea they were buying a place rumoured to be haunted. Following several creepy, unexplained incidents, the Stempo’s brushed it off as coincidence, but when their beloved Yorkie disappears and the family Doberman has a vicious reaction to the restaurant’s basement, they decide to search for answers.

 

More warriors. New tactics. No mercy. Love him or hate him, Captain Paul Watson has ignited global awareness on the illegal whaling trade and ocean-law violations in the Antarctic.

As his celebrity continues to grow, so too does his infamous Sea Shepherd Conservation Society crew, fleet of vessels, and commitment to eradicating whaling.

With cameras capturing every moment of the crew’s latest – and highly publicized – three-month journey to the South Ocean Whale Sanctuary, the much-anticipated Season 3 premiere of WHALE WARS airs in simulcast on Animal Planet, Wednesday, June 9 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT and Discovery Channel, Wednesday, June 9 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT (note: the rest of the season airs exclusively on Animal Planet).

This 10-part season follows the suspense-filled confrontation at the far end of the globe as both Sea Shepherd and the Japanese whalers engage in an environmental showdown with millions of dollars at stake.

Captain Paul Watson and crew return to the airwaves for Season 3 of WHALE WARS, June 9 on Animal Planet and Discovery Channel.

Season 3 of WHALE WARS follows Sea Shepherd’s Whale Defence Campaign – dubbed Operation Waltzing Matilda in honour of Australia’s unofficial national anthem – on their mission to stop whaling that the group claims is illegal and exploits a loophole in international ocean law – a loophole which the whalers claim makes their activities legal. With each side pushing the other to the limit to fight for what they believe in, the conflict between Sea Shepherd and the whalers grows more intense with each adrenaline-fueled encounter. From the terrifying collision of Shonan Maru 2 with Ady Gil, to the incarceration and pending trial of Captain Pete Bethune in Tokyo, WHALE WARS 3 promises viewers an entertaining yet vital television season.

For over 30 years, Watson has been at the helm of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Founded in 1977, Sea Shepherd’s mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics, which the organization says are innovative – but which their critics say are unlawful – to investigate, document, research and enforce laws, treaties, resolutions and regulations established to protect ocean wildlife and their habitats worldwide.

Highlights from Season 3 of WHALE WARS include:

WHALE WARS 3 – “As a Species, We’re Doomed” *Simulcast on Animal Planet and Discovery Channel*

Wednesday, June 9 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT on Animal Planet

Wednesday, June 9 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Discovery Channel

As whaling season begins in the Antarctic, Sea Shepherd embarks on another dangerous campaign. Watson faces the daunting task of being the admiral of a fleet, while new first mate, Lockhart “Locky” MacLean, discovers that a Japanese reconnaissance vessel is following them – quickly plunging Steve Irwin’s crew into their first clash of the operation. Meanwhile, a major donation from game-show host Bob Barker allows Sea Shepherd to purchase a former Norwegian whaling ship – where a year’s worth of repairs are required on Bob Barker in just 90 days. The final stealth speedboat, Ady Gil, is later added to Watson’s fleet helmed by Captain Pete Bethune. As Watson and crew venture deeper into Antarctic waters, a mysterious spy ship gives chase and helicopter pilot Chris Aultman is in a race to save one of Sea Shepherd’s most valuable weapons.

 

WHALE WARS 3 – “Bloomin’ Sheep” *Airs only on Animal Planet*

Wednesday, June 16 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT

After repeated attempts to outrun and engage his pursuers, Watson makes a dangerous decision with the whaling reconnaissance ship, Shonan Maru 2, still tailing Steve Irwin. Thousands of kilometres away, the harpoon interceptor speedboat Ady Gil has returned to dock. As their damaged radar is being repaired, the four-man crew suffers two devastating blows: the boat’s engineer, Larry Routledge, sustains a potentially life-threatening injury and the unexpected illness of Jeff Hansen, a veteran Sea Shepherd, is turning out to be a serious liability. With Steve Irwin in a precarious position, Captain Pete Bethune flies in two of New Zealand’s military elite to join his crew, and Ady Gil’s mission gets back underway. Back in Mauritius – just two days into their journey and hundreds of kilometres from assistance – Bob Barker suffers complete engine failure in the middle of a patch of rough seas where both ship and crew scramble to stay afloat.

 

WHALE WARS 3 – “Batman’s Codpiece” *Airs only on Animal Planet*

Wednesday, June 23 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT

For two weeks, the whaling reconnaissance vessel, Shonan Maru 2, has relentlessly followed Steve Irwin. Sea Shepherd finds themselves in a full-on engagement on the high seas as Watson orders a massive butyric acid bottle attack on his nemesis. Sea Shepherd’s icebreaker vessel, Bob Barker, is also en route to the whaling grounds after leaving port two weeks behind schedule. Rookie Captain Chuck Swift is feeling the pressure to help Steve Irwin so he makes a risky decision despite the wariness of his crew. As darkness falls and the maelstrom gains strength, violent lightning becomes the only light they can see, and the entire crew feels the consequences of Swift’s decision. After night falls, Steve Irwin has a secret rendezvous with Sea Shepherd’s stealth speedboat, Ady Gil. As Shonan Maru 2 finally shows up on the horizon, Ady Gil’s elite crew prepares to launch a surprise offensive on the unsuspecting whaling ship.

Did you miss an episode? Not too late to catch up on the gripping Season 3 of WHALE WARS with a Canada Day mini-marathon of the first four episodes, July 1 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT on Animal Planet.

When a tragic turn of events leaves an adorable baby rhino, a tiny warthog and a hyper hyena orphaned, native Zimbabwean and conservationist Judy Travers takes on the mammoth task of raising all three – in her home!

Premiering Sunday, May 30 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT, Animal Planet’s one-hour special THERE’S A RHINO IN MY HOUSE is the story of an unconventional herd and one woman’s determination to save them. With the hyena tearing the furniture apart, the warthog in her bed and a half-tonne rhino to bottle feed, life for Travers and her husband John is turned topsy-turvy.

When it comes to raising rhinos in the wild, the Travers – who have made it their lives’ work to give rescued wild animals a home at their 4,400 hectare game park, the Imire Safari Ranch – are experts, but having orphaned rhino Tatenda in their home brings about a totally new experience. Weekday mornings at the Travers’ is anything but the norm and everything involved in keeping Tatenda alive is a major undertaking. 

Having rescued Tatenda, the Travers now face an even greater challenge – convincing him he’s not a pet and cannot stay at home forever. For the Travers, protecting Tatenda’s future is not just about teaching him how to survive in the wild – it’s about how to change the mindset of the local people so that black rhinos can have a future at all. And although illegal poaching in Zimbabwe has challenged them with a daily battle to keep their animals alive, their compassion and determination to save this species for the next generation keeps their values strong and their mission thriving.

For over 20 years, the Travers focused much of their efforts on their black rhino conservation project, where in September 2007 Tatenda became the 14th baby rhino to be born. Sadly, just weeks later, Tatenda’s mother was butchered by poachers, leaving the orphaned baby rhino behind. The Travers instantly made the decision to adopt the traumatized Tatenda, raising him in their home. In the same week, another orphan – a tiny warthog they named Pogs – also became part of the Travers’ odd family; along with Tsotsi, a hyena they rescued when he was abandoned as a pup.

The World’s Honeybees Are In Crisis and Are Vanishing at an Alarming Rate. Animal Planet’s THE LAST BEE KEEPER Ponders this Mystery and the Impending Impact of Bee Extinction, April 22.
 
THE LAST BEE KEEPER is a thoughtful meditation on the devastating effects of economic and ecological change as an unexplained illness threatens the world’s bee population
In 1950, there were 500,000 beekeepers in the U.S. –today there are less than 1,600. With beekeepers earning most of their income pollinating crops, many travel to California’s enormous annual almond pollination (an event so large it requires nearly all the bees in the U.S.) to make their living. However, in 2007 just before the almond pollination, 20 billion bees mysteriously disappeared; many beekeepers went bankrupt.

Animal Planet’s THE LAST BEE KEEPER is the story of three who survived. Premiering Thursday, April 22 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT, this heartwarming 90-minute special follows the lives of three commercial beekeepers (from South Carolina, Montana, and Washington) over the course of one year as they struggle with a growing phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Threatening crops, the world food supply and the livelihoods of beekeepers, this mysterious occurrence brings into focus a global problem, asking with a sense of urgency, “what is the fate of our planet if the fate of our bees is in jeopardy?”

Animal Planet’s THE LAST BEE KEEPER examines the world honeybee crisis caused by the devastating effects of Colony Collapse Disorder, April 22.

Bees are the unsung heroes of the food chain – responsible for pollinating a third of the food we eat – and they are disappearing without a trace. With some beekeepers reporting an unexplained 60 – 90% decrease in their hive population, entomologists are working to solve this environmental mystery of what caused this shocking trend and how it can be stopped. At first, though many failed to see Colony Collapse Disorder as more than a tough break for the honey industry, the severity of the situation is beginning to sound alarms – bees play a vital role in pollinating many crops, and without them the growth of many staples could come to a standstill.
 
Animal Planet’s THE LAST BEE KEEPER explores the consequences of Colony Collapse Disorder by following the beekeepers’ emotional journey as they prepare for the annual almond pollination season – which requires them to load their hives on flatbed trucks and drive thousands of kilometres cross-country to California. Watch as they struggle to keep their hives healthy and ponder the possible impact of bee extinction on the agricultural industry. Beekeeping is not just a career for these people; it’s their life and passion, a feeling made poignantly clear as each beekeeper fights back tears as they discover their hives are disappearing.
 
The cause of Colony Collapse Disorder remains unknown and if honeybees continue to decline at the same rate, they will cease to exist in the U.S. by 2035.

Visit www.animalplanet.ca for more buzz on bees and weigh in about this alarming new trend with other Animal Planet viewers.

Featuring harrowing tales from bear-attack survivors, groundbreaking filming techniques that have captured unprecedented footage of bear behaviour and a man who has developed a unique – but controversial – relationship living among bears, Animal Planet roars its way into the 2nd annual BEAR WEEK beginning Sunday, March 14 to Saturday, March 20 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET/9 to 11 p.m. PT each night. With the spotlight on one of the world’s most endangered and deadly beasts, Animal Planet’s week-long tribute to bears showcases many ursine species including the sloth, grizzly, polar, black, panda and spectacled bear.

From gentle giant to grizzly beast, Animal Planet’s 2ND annual BEAR WEEK returns with captivating new series and specials beginning March 14.

Featuring a mix of remarkable raw footage, real life drama and innovative storytelling, BEAR WEEK presents astonishing revelations about bear communication, evolution and the impact humans are having on their survival. Kicking off the week is the Animal Planet premiere of I’M ALIVE; STRANGER AMONG BEARS; BEARS: SPY IN THE WOODS and THE BEAR WHISPERER premiere through the week.

Animal Planet’s full BEAR WEEK 2010 lineup includes:

I’M ALIVE (10X60) **Animal Planet Premiere**
Sunday, March 14 at 8 and 9 p.m. ET/9 and 10 p.m. PT
Over 100,000 people are killed each year by wild animals, but equally astounding is that hundreds of people beat the odds and survive from the most brutal maulings and deadliest stings, to the most poisonous bites. Why do some people live and others die, and how did the lucky survive? I’M ALIVE presents 10 heart-stopping journeys past the edge of human endurance. Ordinary people thrown into epic struggles for survival tell their own stories while drama brings these incredible experiences to life. I’M ALIVE kicks off during BEAR WEEK with two back-to-back bear-themed episodes; the series continues Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT.

STRANGER AMONG BEARS (6X30) **Animal Planet Premiere**
Monday, March 15, 16 and 17 at 8 and 8:30 p.m. ET/9 and 9:30 p.m. PT
For more than 20 years, Charles Vandergaw has been living with wild bears in the Alaskan wilderness. He has developed a unique – but controversial – relationship with the black and grizzly bears that live near his isolated cabin. Now, for the first time, Vandergaw has allowed cameras to capture an entire season on film at what he calls “bear haven.”

AUSTIN STEVENS: GRIZZLY BEAR STAKEOUT (1X60)
Monday, March 15 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
Celebrated wildlife photographer Austin Stevens heads to Western Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest hoping to come face-to-face with a full-grown grizzly. He’s out of his element in this northern terrain but has timed his mission to coincide with the annual salmon run, which lures bears of all sizes out into the open for feeding.

SEASON OF THE SPIRIT BEAR (1X60)
Tuesday, March 16 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
Natural history and tribal folklore combine to give a unique insight into the world of Sri Lanka’s most endangered and charismatic mammal – the Sloth Bear.

YELLOWSTONE: THE GRIZZLY BEAR’S STORY (1X60)
Wednesday, March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
As a grizzly bear family emerges from their den at Snake River, the mother finds an abundance of food for her new cubs, but she has to fight to defend her prey against the newly dominant wolves, bald eagles and local coyotes.

POLAR BEARS & GRIZZLIES: BEARS ON TOP OF THE WORLD (1X60)
Thursday, March 18 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT    
Follow the differing fortunes of a mother polar bear and a mother grizzly bear as they raise their cubs in a changing world; the shrinking Arctic ice is making life harder for polar bears, but it’s offering new opportunities for grizzly’s to the south.

WILD CHANCE: A BEAR’S STORY (1X30)
Thursday, March 18 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
Black bears are fast adjusting to the modern world; as suburbs, resorts and towns expand, bears are learning that food doesn’t just come with a pulse – it can be wrapped, baked, grilled or fried.

XTREMELY WILD WITH MARK MILLER: GRIZZLIES (1X30)
Thursday, March 18 at 9:30 p.m. ET/10:30 p.m. PT
Grizzly bears in the Rocky Mountain region of Canada are frequently invading recreational campsites; Miller joins park rangers struggling to teach these burly bears a lesson about the dangers they’ll face if they get lost in these more populated areas.

BEARS: SPY IN THE WOODS (1X60) **Animal Planet Premiere**
Friday, March 19 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT
Camouflaged roving cameras bring viewers within a paw’s swipe of the world’s bears, offering the most intimate portrayal of these engaging creatures ever recorded. State-of-the-art techniques help to unravel the lives of the giant panda, the brown bear, its white cousin the polar bear and the lesser-known spectacled bear (with light colouring on its face resembling eyeglasses).

CIRCUMPOLAR BEARS: BEARS WITHOUT BORDERS (1X60)
Friday, March 19 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
Travel throughout the northern regions of Canada, Alaska, Finland and Russia to compare the lives of grizzly and polar bears found in the Circumpolar North.

THE BEAR WHISPERER (1X120) **Animal Planet Premiere**
Saturday, March 20 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT
Reformed hunter-turned-bear-whisperer Steve Searles of Mammoth Lake, California, handles between 20 and 30 calls a week from panicked residents to extricate black bears when they roam into town.

STAYING SAFE IN BEAR COUNTRY (1X60)
Saturday, March 20 at 10 p.m. ET/11 p.m. PT
This valuable instructional program uses consensus opinion of leading experts on bear behaviour and its relevance to human safety. Using real bears and re-enactments, this program presents vital information to help you if you are confronted with a bear in the wild.

If you believe in dressing your pet in a Santa suit or stuffing their stockings full of treats, then this year’s Animal Planet holiday marathons are for you! Enjoy an emotional eight-hour Cinderella fairytale when the UNDERDOG TO WONDERDOG Marathon begins at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT on Christmas Day; then skip the stores and open up a box of laughter when the wild and wacky six-hour Boxing Day marathon of ANIMAL PLANET’S MOST OUTRAGEOUS begins at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. And finally, when New Years day rolls around, invite BEVERLY HILLS GROOMER, Artist Knox, into your living room for a six-hour Hollywood grooming marathon at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. From magical transformations and grooming creations to the most unusual pets on Earth, Animal Planet brings love, laughter and inspiration to help cheer you through the holidays this year!

ANIMAL PLANET’S HOLIDAY MARATHON SCHEDULE:

UNDERDOG TO WONDERDOG MARATHON (8 x 60)
Friday, December 25 at 12 – 8 p.m. ET (9 a.m. – 5 p.m. PT)
There’s nothing more heartbreaking than looking into the sad, helpless eyes of an abandoned stray dog that hasn’t been adopted from a shelter. Animal Planet’s UNDERDOG TO WONDERDOG takes that same stray shelter pup and turns its four-legged life completely around. Our very own Doggie Wonder Team comes to the rescue when they snatch that dog from its formerly miserable existence and transplant it into its very own Cinderella fairytale!

ANIMAL PLANET’S MOST OUTRAGEOUS MARATHON (6 x 60)
Saturday, December 26 at 2 – 8 p.m. ET (11 a.m. – 5 p.m. PT)
From America’s most extravagant doghouse to an eccentric millionaire’s private zoo, MOST OUTRAGEOUS delves into everything weird, wacky and wonderful about people’s obsession with animals. Find out what goes on behind the scenes of the nation’s biggest animal parks, visit some of the world’s wildest pet palaces and doggy digs, plus meet the animals and their offbeat owners who have become overnight YouTube sensations in this wildly over-the-top series.

BEVERLY HILLS GROOMER MARATHON (12 x 30)
Friday, January 1 at 2 – 8 p.m. ET (11 a.m. – 5 p.m. PT)
Artist Knox, GROOMER HAS IT’s 2008 “Groomer of the Year” uses his $50,000 winnings and mobile grooming van to follow his dream of becoming the groomer to the stars. While he hustles to build his celebrity clientele – and their pampered pets – he has to adjust to the fact that he has also become a bit of celebrity himself. Throughout his journey Knox vows to remain true to his mission statement of “two for me, one for free” – meaning that for every two paying clients, he will groom one less fortunate animal for free. It’s more than just a noble gesture, it’s his way of making rough neighborhoods (like the one he grew up in) a better place to live.

From pandas, to grizzlies to polars, Animal Planet roars its way into the 1st annual BEAR WEEK from Sunday, March 22 to Saturday, March 28. With programs featuring raw footage, stunning wildlife cinematography and emotional accounts of survival, BEAR WEEK is a fascinating week-long tribute to one of the world’s most endangered and deadly beasts.

1st annual BEAR WEEK premieres March 22-28 on Animal Planet

Presenting astonishing revelations about bear behaviour, evolution and survival, BEAR WEEK features a mix of real life drama and innovative storytelling. Kicking off the week with the Animal Planet premiere of GRIZZLY MAN: THE BEGINNING, two premiere episodes per night of GRIZZLY MAN DIARIES, and ending with a PANDAMONIUM marathon, the 1st annual BEAR WEEK is destined to be an Animal Planet viewer favourite.

Animal Planet’s full BEAR WEEK 2008 lineup is as follows:

GRIZZLY MAN **Animal Planet Premiere**
Sun., March 22 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT
*Repeat* Sat., March 28 at 7 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT
Get an inside look at the life of Timothy Treadwell, as documented by filmmaker, Werner Herzog. Treadwell spent 13 summers in Alaska living with grizzly bears. He spoke their language, knew their moods, and survived unarmed among them until his untimely death from the very creatures he loved so deeply.

GRIZZLY MAN DIARIES
**Animal Planet Premiere**
March 23-27 at 8 and 8:30 p.m. ET/9 and 9:30 p.m. PT
This series documents the life of Timothy Treadwell in the decade before his death. This eight-part mini-series draws upon hundreds of hours of archived footage, private pages from his diaries and more than 10,000 still photographs, ultimately telling the story Timothy Treadwell truly wanted to. The footage and stories within GRIZZLY MAN DIARIES present astonishing revelations about grizzly behavior and survival.

ULTIMATE GUIDE: THE BEARS
Mon., March 23 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
Cutting-edge computer animation and stunning wildlife photography show off the bear family’s remarkable range of adaptations, the result of 35 million years of evolution.

MOONBEARS: JOURNEY TO FREEDOM
Tues., March 24 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
Follow the dramatic journey of three rescued bears from China’s torturous bear bile farms; see the moment they are cut free from their coffin-like cages through to their final releases into a beautiful protected wildlife sanctuary.

NATURAL WORLD: POLAR BEARS & GRIZZLIES **Animal Planet Premiere**
Wed., March 25 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
This natural history film documents the similarities between polar bears and grizzlies. The two creatures are alike but have significantly different hunting styles, raising the question of whether cubs will be able to adapt as the Arctic gets warmer.

XTREMELY WILD WITH MARK MILLER – “Bruce Bears & Grouse Grizzlies”

Thurs., March 26 at 8:30 p.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT
Mark goes looking for the dens of black bears on the Bruce Peninsula and later gives a Grizzly Bear a check up at the Grouse Mountain rehab centre.

NATURAL WORLD: BEAR MAN OF KAMCHATKA
Thurs., March 26 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
Follow the incredible story of a man who has devoted his life to the grizzly bears of the Kamchatka Peninsula.

STAYING SAFE IN BEAR COUNTRY **Animal Planet Premiere**
Fri., March 27 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
STAYING SAFE IN BEAR COUNTRY is a valuable instructional program using consensus opinion of leading experts on bear behaviour and its relevance to human safety. Using real bears and re-enactments, this program presents vital information to help you if you are confronted with a bear in the wild.

PANDAMONIUM (Marathon)
Sat., March 28 from 12 noon to 6 p.m. ET/1 to 7 p.m. PT
Go behind the scenes of the first, largest and most successful panda breeding, research and conservation centers in the world at the Wolong Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda in Sichuan province, Southwest China. Witness the daily struggle of keepers and staff to preserve one of the planet’s most at-risk species before releasing them back into the wild. Through inspiring storytelling, PANDAMONIUM brings life to the mission of rescuing the beloved panda and immerses viewers into their animal world. The final episode documents efforts to continue the work following the devastating earthquake that hit Sichuan Province on the afternoon of May 12, 2008. Check in to see how the Pandas are and how the earthquake affected the Centre’s work.

Animal Planet is available on digital cable and satellite across Canada. To subscribe, contact your local cable or satellite provider and ask for Animal Planet.