Explore Yellowstone National Park on PBS this summer

Pet Pals TV’s Patty Spitler gets an exclusive sneak peek at the PBS special, “Great Yellowstone Thaw.”

Host & Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Director Dr. Kirk Johnson Takes You Behind the Scenes at the Nation’s First National Park. You’ll be Amazed by the Intimate Footage of Animals Struggling to Adapt to Extreme Weather Conditions in the Park’s Brutal Spring Season.

Great Yellowstone Thaw gives viewers an appreciation and insight into the amazing adaptability of animals in an often brutal environment, showcasing the extraordinary survival instincts the park’s natural species possess. From winter to summer, Yellowstone’s temperature typically swings 140 degrees. Filmed over several intense months, from deep winter to early summer, the series intercuts the stories of several different animal families—including wolves, bison, grizzlies, beavers and great gray owls. It follows the animals in the Yellowstone ecosystem as they emerge from winter’s cold and adapt to an early spring thaw, before encountering the soaring summer temperatures.

Johnson and a team of Yellowstone experts explore how these animals fend off floods, starvation, and fires, as well as the area’s extreme evolution from cold to heat during the spring season. Great Yellowstone Thaw is part of “PBS Summer of Adventure” – taking viewers and their families on an adventure around the world this season. The series is a co-production between PBS, BBC and BBC Worldwide North America.

Dr. Kirk Johnson is the Sant Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He oversees the largest collection at the Smithsonian – more than 145 million objects and more than 460 employees. Johnson is a paleontologist who has led expeditions in 11 countries and 19 states that have resulted in the discovery of more than 1,400 fossil sites. His research includes the Snowmastodon Project, the excavation of an amazing ice age site near Snowmass Village, Colorado. His newest book, Ancient Wyoming, explores the prehistory and geology of the Bighorn Basin.

“Great Yellowstone Thaw” airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on PBS.

To learn more, visit www.pbs.org/great-yellowstone-thaw/home/.