‘Life Below Zero’s Sue Aikens Talks Being Targeted by Alaska’s Predators

BBC Worldwide/J.J. Krehbiel

Sue Aikens (above) lives 197 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the Alaskan wilderness. Nine months out of the year, her nearest neighbor is 300 miles south. Last winter, temps dipped to -150 degrees Fahrenheit with windchill.

But Aikens, now in Season 13 of National Geographic’s popular Life Below Zero, doesn’t long for the comforts of “the lower world” — even if the twice-widowed grandmother knows she’s a target in this one.

“Predators cull something from the herd, look for something that’s injured and old. I fit the categories,” says Aikens, who moved to Alaska with her mom as a child and has worked as a crab-boat cook and dogsled operator. “I’ve culled myself from the herd, have been injured quite a few times [including a grizzly bear attack she finds difficult to discuss], and am kicking 60 in the head.”

But forget a Florida retirement. On Tuesday, she works on restoring a decrepit 1800s cabin. “It played an integral part when I was first in Alaska,” she says. “That cabin saved my booty!”

Life Below Zero, Tuesdays, 9/8c, National Geographic