Gone are the days of Lorne Green and Richard Attenborough offering a ‘Moses’ like commentary on wildlife. Todays marketplace is far different, no rented Lions, no leased Gazelles, no assistant helping the Lemmings off the cliff with a broom. Todays world is far more interesting, the world of nature is seen as it really is. And there is no doubt in my mind that some of it is pretty darn ugly.

Animal Planet are premiering a new series on Tuesday April/29 at 8pm and it is well worth checking out. Raw Nature, is exactly that. In many ways this series is a Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) meets Mythbusters on a global scale. This is gritty stuff. The photography is spectacular, the story lines alluring, and packaged in such a way that there is an overall message of social responsibility. That is a great thing, we squander way too much of our shrinking resources and care little about the impact we have on the animals that we share this planet with (even though some would make pretty bad house guests).

The Komodo Dragon is a huge and very dangerous reptile, it has the social graces of a leper, and would likely make the worst pet available. It grows to an enormousness size, 20 feet or more, and basically eats everything it can find. It missed out on the ‘table manners’ class at reptile high school, and just chomps down on whatever it can find. Goats are a favorite, and it doesn’t bother with all that chewing process, it just bites a chunk, skin, bone, it makes no difference, and swallows it! This is not the guest you would want at your next dinner party. Added to that is the interesting fact that the saliva from this creature, it is toxic! In fact it can be deadly.

The enterprising folks from Raw Planet were not phased. Even when a local inhabitant told them about a young boy being eaten, they seemed composed. The filming of three Komodo’s dispatching a Goat also went reasonably well. The problems started when the Goat was gone. The Dragons spotted dessert! It was a good job that the Goat had been well fed, this slowed them down a little, as the camera crew beat a hasty retreat.

Reptiles on the whole are not known for being particularly smart, but they are really good at surviving. So what would you do if you woke up and found a Komodo Dragon in your room? Watch the show and you can find out!

Bears on the other hand have a different rap, some of us view them as Winnie the Pooh friendly critters, some even think them as circus animals, trained, and receptive to the commands they are given. Bears don’t work that way. Bears are wild animals, and our perception of its compliance and conformity is often as a result of pain and suffering not gentle nurturing. Segment two explores the plight of Bears in India, where they are paraded as a street performing act, and the battle to remove the cruelty.

If you don’t like snakes, skip the last 20 minutes. They go hunting giant Anacondas. These snakes grow so big they could eat your sub-compact car! If walking barefoot in marshes full of leeches is your kind of idea of fun, you might like this segment. Sage advice is handed out, “if you step on something round, it is probably a snake, if it is sharp, it will be a Cayman (Small but a not very friendly member of the Crocodile family). Ouch, is all I have to say!

This is great stuff, tune in, you will not be disappointed.

Simon Barrett


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