Watch Project Grizzly
- 1 Season
Project Grizzly was a 1996 television show on Animal Planet that followed Canadian inventor Troy Hurtubise in his quest to build a suit of armor that would protect him from the deadly claws of grizzly bears. The show was hosted by famed Canadian broadcaster Peter Gzowski, who provided commentary and interviews with Hurtubise throughout the series. Hurtubise was a fascinating character, a self-taught inventor who was obsessed with the idea of building the ultimate anti-bear suit. He had already built several prototypes by the time the show began filming, but he was never satisfied with their performance. His goal was to create a suit that would not only protect him from the bears' claws and jaws, but also allow him to get up close and personal with the animals without fear. The show followed Hurtubise as he tested his latest suit, which he called the "Mark VI", in the Canadian wilderness. The Mark VI was an impressive piece of engineering, weighing over 130 pounds and featuring a helmet with a reinforced visor, a chest plate, a ridge of spikes along the back, and even a built-in air conditioner. Hurtubise was confident that the suit would protect him from any bear attack, and he set out to prove it. The first few episodes of the show focused on Hurtubise's preparations for his tests. He scouted locations, studied bear behavior, and trained his body to withstand the physical demands of wearing the suit. He also recruited a team of assistants, including a medic and a bear expert, to help him with the tests. The actual bear encounters were the most dramatic parts of the show. Hurtubise would wander through the woods, calling out to the bears in a high-pitched voice and hoping to attract their attention. When a bear finally appeared, he would approach it cautiously, making sure to stay in its line of sight so that it wouldn't attack him from behind. He would then goad the bear into attacking him, using a variety of methods such as throwing rocks or dragging a piece of meat on a rope. Watching these encounters was both thrilling and terrifying. Hurtubise's Mark VI suit was undoubtedly impressive, but there was always the sense that one wrong move could lead to disaster. The bears were enormous and ferocious, and even a small mistake on Hurtubise's part could lead to a mauling. Despite the danger, Hurtubise continued to test his suit, refining it with each encounter. He also spent time in the laboratory, analyzing the data from the tests and making adjustments to the suit's design. Throughout the show, he remained confident that he would eventually succeed in his mission. The show was not without its critics, however. Some viewers felt that Hurtubise was needlessly putting himself in danger and risking the lives of the bears. Others criticized the show's producers for exploiting the animals and promoting a dangerous and misguided idea. Hurtubise himself was unapologetic, contending that his work would ultimately benefit both humans and bears. In the final episodes of the show, Hurtubise embarked on a daring experiment. He wanted to see if he could survive a direct grizzly bear attack without his suit. To do so, he found a bear that had been raised in captivity and was accustomed to human contact. He then approached the bear and allowed it to maul him while he wore only a protective vest. The experiment was successful, and Hurtubise emerged from the attack with only minor injuries. He declared that he had proved his point and that his anti-bear suit was now ready to be marketed to the public. Project Grizzly was a riveting and controversial show that captured the imagination of viewers around the world. Hurtubise's quest to build the ultimate anti-bear suit was both fascinating and terrifying, and his encounters with grizzly bears will be remembered for years to come. Whether one sees Hurtubise as a hero or a fool, there is no denying that he was one of the most unique and unforgettable figures in the world of television.