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Barack Obama to explore Alaskan wilderness with Bear Grylls

By Kate Ferguson

Barack Obama is to venture into the Alaskan wilderness with Northern Ireland-born adventurer Bear Grylls for a television programme, it has been announced.

The US President will team up with the survival expert - who was born and grew up in Donaghadee - to explore the impact climate change is having on the environment.

The special edition of Running Wild with Bear Grylls will be broadcast later this year, NBC said.

In a statement the television network said: "President Obama will meet with Grylls while visiting Alaska to observe the effects of climate change on the area. The two will then come together in the Alaskan wilderness.

"President Obama will become the first US president to receive a crash course in survival techniques from Bear Grylls. The visit will be taped and aired on NBC later this year."

Located at America's extreme north-western tip, Alaska is known for its icy terrain, mountains and freezing temperatures, which plummet to as low as -80F (-62C).

Brown and black bears roam the state while polar bears are found along its coast.

Eton-educated Grylls, who has served with the SAS and wrestled sharks and alligators, has taken a string of celebrities on one-on-one adventures to test their survival skills on the series.

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