Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr

National Geographic – Monday 21 July, 9.30pm

It’s the ultimate warrior. Part combat submarine, part terrestrial tank, armed with tusks that can grow up to a foot long and deliver a bone-crushing bite. Meet the Nile Hippopotamus. How do you work with what is reputedly the most deadly animal in Africa? It’s a dangerous encounter Brady style. Watch as he develops his understanding of hippos and tests a new suit of armour to protect himself and the hippos he’ll be working with. It’s a specially-designed, lifelike 90-kilogram Kevlar hippo suit covered in hippo dung and mud with a reinforced cage for protection in case he is perceived as a threat. Brady is out to see how close he can get to the hippos of South Luangwa and do something that’s never been done before: collect a sample of wild hippo sweat for scientific analysis.

National Geographic – Monday 7 July, 9.30pm

National Geographic herpetologist Dr Brady Barr heads to remote caves in Indonesia to study one of the longest of all snake species; the rare and little-known reticulated python of Asia. First, he travels to Zoo Negara in Malaysia to measure what is supposed to be the longest snake in captivity. He’s knocked over by the snake’s size and power – literally. Brady is ready for the field… or so he thinks. The Indonesian cave that he and herpetologist Dr Mark Auliya explore is fraught with danger – waist-deep bat guano, cockroaches, snakes, giant spiders, concentrated ammonia and not enough oxygen. But worst of all, as he and Mark try to capture a big retic, the snake slithers into the river of bat faeces and, while trying to get away, bites Brady on the leg. It’s a hideous wound and Brady is in serious danger of infection. To get treatment, he has to hike for hours uphill and is treated in two local clinics. Does it stop him working on snakes? No way. Six weeks later Brady returns to the cave learning crucial information about python biology and the need to protect these caves as a vital resource for these magnificent, giant snakes.