A York County woman has recently returned from a stint filming an episode of Discovery Channel’s “Naked and Afraid” show.

The episode, which will air on Sunday, April 10, will feature Charlene “Cheeny” Plante, 32, of Sanford as she attempts to survive the harsh conditions of South Africa.

Plante, who is a Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape specialist in the Air Force, was dropped into the savannah, along with a woman from Georgia, to film the episode last summer, according to NewsCenter Maine.

“Naked and Afraid” contestants are tasked with surviving, completely unclothed, in the relative wilderness for up to 21 days, while armed with just one tool of their choice and nothing else. A camera team watches their every move, but is unable to aid the contestants — however, for safety, a medical team is available to pull out a contestant if the situation gets dire.

Plante said that she was not very familiar with the show initially, having watched a handful of episodes before her stint on the production, and she hadn’t planned to immediately agree when producers scouted her out. Ultimately, she felt as though she was amply prepared from her time in the Air Force, and that there was a reason the challenge was being presented to her, she told NewsCenter Maine.

After the experience — which Plante has yet to see on screen, and will watch on Sunday — she said that she would love to be invited to take on the challenge once again if asked in the future.

Plante isn’t the only Mainer who has made an appearance on the extreme survival show though; in 2020, Kate Wentworth of Passadumkeag took on the challenge, also in the extreme South African environment. Wentworth appeared on “Naked and Afraid XL,” in which a group of survivalists were required to attempt a 41-day stay in the wilderness. “Naked and Afraid XL” also allowed members of the group to be voted out if they were deemed unable to work with the group.

Wentworth has also appeared on “Mountain Masters,” according to her Facebook page dedicated to showcasing her survival skills. She periodically posts survival tips and tricks she has learned from her extreme survival experiences.

And in 2021, Ryan Holt, a Maine guide, veteran and Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, appeared for the fifth time on “Naked and Afraid,” when he was tasked with surviving in the Louisiana swamps for 60 days with nothing but his birthday suit and a tool of choice.

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Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.