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North Park bartender to compete in Discovery Channel's 'American Tarzan'

Maria Herrera and cast members of 'American Tarzan.'
Photo credit:
Discovery Channel

SAN DIEGO - Local bartender and North Park resident Maria Herrera is heading into the wilderness in a new Discovery Channel series titled “American Tarzan.”

Part “Survivor,” part “Man Vs. Wild,” this nature survival show features six other competitors, each with a special skill, who must traverse four different terrains: the coast, mountains, jungle and canyons.

Harkening back to the early days of survival, Herrera will need to stalk prey, climb trees and brave rapids in order to live off the land.

This might seem a rough lesson in the art of survival, but Herrera has battled much worse. After high school she moved to Las Vegas and took up luging, a high-speed racing sport where the athlete speeds down a steep path in a supine position.

On one of these runs which can reach speeds of over 80 miles-per-hour, Herrera’s sled flew over a cliff fracturing her spine, doctors gave her the worst prognosis, but she proved them wrong and began focusing on rehabilitation.

Never one to lose hope, Herrera not only began walking, but running, participating in events such as Tough Mudder, Spartan Races, and CrossFit competitions.

Defying her injuries further, she headed into the dangerous landscape of the Peruvian rainforest alone, only taking with her a pot, fire-starter, machete, mosquito net, and fishhook.

After seven days she emerged in one piece and with a new sense of life.

The Discovery series will challenge her even more. On the first episode she must kayak to a remote Caribbean island with her castaway mates only to try to navigate through dense forest fauna and choppy earthy terrain.  

These challenges will increase in difficulty over the course of the show as Herrera vies to be the ultimate “American Tarzan.”

This Supergirl seems ready for the tasks. In her bio she states her superpower lies in her upper body strength; she can, "climb a two story rope in under 20 seconds."

Stay tuned San Diego.

“American Tarzan” premieres on Discovery Channel on Wednesday, July 6, at 10 pm ET/PT.

Check listing for details or click HERE for more information.