Extreme Encounters

Saturday 17 February at 7.30pm

For a man who deals with crocodiles almost every day, Dr Brady Barr should count his blessings that he still has all his limbs intact. The reptile expert is the first person ever to capture all 23 species of crocodiles in the wild, and National Geographic has created a special TV program, EXTREME ENCOUNTERS: COUNTDOWN CROCS to celebrate this historic achievement.

In this programme, you will travel the world with Dr Brady Barr as he goes about in his adventure to learn and promote the conservation of endangered reptilian species.

1. Crocodiles actually do shed tears. The tears are produced when a crocodile’s eyes become dry after being out of the water for a substantial period of time. The fluid comes from the lachrymal gland and helps to cleanse the eye.

2. Nile crocodiles can hold their breath for as long as 2 hours. As reptiles, Nile crocodiles have slow metabolisms; this, and their large size, helps them survive for long periods without air. This ability makes them especially adept predators; in order to kill their favourite large prey, these crocodiles simply pull it underwater and hold it until it drowns.

3. A crocodile’s top speed varies based on the size and type of crocodile. When moving quickly to catch prey they can reach speed of 18 km/h.

4. The Nile crocodile’s 66 sharp teeth make this reptile a top predator in the food chain. The teeth of crocodilians are designed to penetrate and hold prey, rather than to cut and chew.

5. Crocodiles can live on one meal a year if necessary; their metabolism works very efficiently, and during the lean times they simply wait, using the sun’s heat to regulate their body temperature.

6. The Nile crocodile’s average lifespan in the wild is 45 years. They have lived up to 80 years in captivity. Crocs have been around for more than 200 million years.

7. An adult male Nile crocodile can grow as long as 20 feet (6 meters) and weigh as much as 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms).

8. The crocodile’s bark is believed to be a form of communication between animals. The crocs are thought to have 4 different types of calls: a distress call, a threat call, a hatching call (made by newborns), and a courtship call.

9. Crocodiles do not have lips, and therefore their mouths are not watertight when closed. But when a crocodile dives, it closes special flaps in its throat to keep the water from entering its lungs.

10. Crocodiles have 18 toes. Crocodiles have five separated toes on each of their front feet and four partially-webbed toes on their rear legs.

Saturday 10 February at 7.30pm

Dr. Brady Barr is on the trail of a legendary reptile. Deep in the heart of Africa’s Congo Basin, he investigates reports of a mysterious beast some say is a dinosaur. Warding off many dangers, his intensive search pays off with a face to face encounter with a giant reptile, the kind legends are made of.

In a recent interview with FACES, Reptile expert Dr Brady Barr answered a few questions about his years studying snakes and crocodiles…

It says on your job description that you are a herpetologist. Can you tell us exactly what a herpetologist is?

Well, a herpetologist is someone who deals with amphibians and reptiles.

Compare yourself to Steve Irwin

I don’t compare myself to him. First and foremost I am an educator, and secondly I’m a scientist, I have a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Miami. And I appear on television for the purpose of informing and educating the public about endangered species.

You have recently finished the shooting of EXTREME ENCOUNTERS and Croc Chronicles. What was that like?

Ah, very exciting and I’m working on some more EXTREME ENCOUNTER films right now and is always exciting. I have the best job in the world, I work for National Geographic Channel and they sent me to all over the world to interact with some of the most amazing animals on the planet. I get to meet fascinating people where ever I go; I get to see some of the most remote and beautiful places. I mean it is the National Geographic Channel; it doesn’t get better than that!

Just how ‘Super’ is the SUPER SNAKE? Find out on EXTREME ENCOUNTERS…

Saturday 10 February at 7.30pm on PRIME.

Saturday 10 February at 7.30pm

Join Austin Stevens as he hunts down the deadliest snakes in Africa – creatures with the killing power to easily dispatch a human being.
Learn why these snakes attack, their methods and the power of their incredible attacks.

In this episode Austin Stevens searches out seven deadly snakes and rates them out of ten in three categories – Speed, Venom and Strike…
The snakes include:

A Peringuey’s Adder; A Spitting Cobra; A Puff Adder; A Snouted Cobra; A Boomslang; A Gaboon Viper; And the Black Mamba.

Saturday 3 February at 7.30pm on Prime

Brady Barr has dodged the crushing jaws of carnivorous crocodiles to remove them to safety, wrestled six foot Komodo dragons for a saliva sample and captured venomous cobras with his bare hands in order to analyse their venom.

Barr has spent years in the field studying the most dangerous reptiles in the world – He’ll go anywhere and face off with just about anything if there’s good science in it.

His interest in snakes and crocodiles began at a young age.

“Well, I was a little kid who was into dinosaurs and all kinds of reptiles—like a lot of kids. I grew up in Indiana where there weren’t many reptiles. But what we had was a really good children’s zoo in Indianapolis. I’m really a product of America’s zoos and museums. I followed my passion and brought home lizards, snakes, turtles—whatever I could catch,” explains Barr. “I eventually became a biology teacher. But then went back for a masters and Ph.D. at the University of Miami where I started looking at the diet of gators in the Everglades. After working with gators, I became obsessed with learning as much as I could about them. The more I found out, the more I realised how little the scientific community knows about crocodilian species—and they are some of the largest carnivores on the planet.”

Now Barr raises the stakes as he journeys around the world, taking on a series of high-risk missions.

Whether he’s wrangling thrashing crocs, stalking the biggest snakes in the world or evading bloodthirsty hyenas…each heart-pounding encounter will test Barr’s skills and push his courage to a new level.

“Snakes are stressful and working with them is a mental grind. No matter how careful you are, no matter how many precautions you take, every time you interact with them it’s a role of the dice. They strike so quickly that you’re bitten before you know what’s happened. With crocs, you can sometimes afford to make a mistake. But with some of the snakes, you make one mistake and you’re history,” says Barr. “If you work with venomous snakes, no matter who you are, at some point your number is going to come up. I’m really, really careful when it comes to snakes. Many times we’re in dangerous situations because we work in remote areas where there is no chance of getting to medical attention. In any case, we’re often dealing with new species where there is no anti-venom to be had.”

In the first episode of EXTREME ENCOUNTERS, Barr compares the bite force of crocs to other predators and gets within snapping distance of the mouths of hyenas, lions, great white sharks, alligator snapping turtles and wild dogs.

Will these edge-of-your-seat adventures prove Barr’s invincibility, or force him to face his own mortality?

Saturday 3 February at 7.30pm on PRIME.