Press Centre

Fierce

  • Episode: 

    3 of 6

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Tue 03 May 2016
  • TX Confirmed: 

    Yes
  • Time: 

    8.00pm - 9.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 18 2016 : Sat 30 Apr - Fri 06 May
  • Channel: 

    ITV
The information contained herein is strictly and wholly embargoed from all press, online and social media use, non-commercial publication, or syndication until Tuesday 26 April 2016
 
In Fierce, wild life expert Steve Backshall seeks out the world’s most fierce animals as he heads off on six epic adventures to Guyana, Mexico, Namibia, Indonesia, Australia and South Africa. Along the way he encounters Australia’s largest venomous snake, the Coastal Taipan, gets perilously close to the largest carnivorous reptile in South America, the giant Black Caiman and attempts to track down the endangered Giant River Otter. 
 
As well as going eye-to-eye with American Crocodiles, swimming amongst Bull Sharks and narrowly escaping the jaws of the extraordinary Komodo Dragon, Steve also meets the people living cheek by jowl with these dangerous predators and those who have miraculously survived being attacked by them.
 
As Steve discovers, the beauty of the locations he visits belies the ‘kill or be killed’ reality of the environment for its wild inhabitants, which have developed fascinating and fierce physical adaptations and behaviours to survive in them.
 
In episode three, Steve travels to Mexico, which he describes as: “One of my favourite places to go looking for wildlife, it’s a huge country which means that there is a lot of wild spaces and a lot of wildlife that lives there…this is pretty awesome.”
 
Steve starts his journey outside the city of Valladolid, on the vast Yucatan Peninsula, a part of Mexico that was only accessible by sea until the 1950s. It’s here he’s hoping to find one of the most dangerous snakes in Mexico: the rattlesnake.
 
Steve says: “Despite their fearsome reputation, rattlesnakes are actually shy and secretive, what’s more, they are superbly camouflaged, which makes finding them extremely difficult.”
 
After four hours searching in the midst of a maize plantation, Steve hears the tell tale sound of success…a rattling. He says: “Well this could not be more perfect, this is exactly what we were hoping to find and it is a beauty…look at that buzzing of the tail, classic threat mechanism of the rattlesnake.”
 
He adds; “Although some people might think that it’s kind of sinister, to me this is one of the most fascinating, even beautiful, creatures that I could ever wish to see.”
 
Continuing his journey, Steve travels 172-miles to the coast, and 17-miles off-shore, to the protected conservation area of Chinchorro Banks, in search of Mexico’s largest and most feared reptile: the American saltwater crocodile.
 
From Florida, down to Venezuela, the American crocodile is the largest and most powerful reptile found in these coastal waters, with the males growing to over six-feet in length. Local fishermen give the crocodiles a wide berth, but Steve is keen to get up close, so jumps into the water to swim amongst them.
 
Steve says: “You really have to have your wits about you every single second you’re in the water with crocodiles…that is such a sinister sight, he’s coming towards us, very much with an attitude that says ‘This is my patch, this is my territory.’”
 
He adds: “I think it’s best we back off a bit, this croc is moving very decisively towards us, much more aggressive body movements and it seems more interested in us than it does in the fish.”
 
Later, Steve says: “This has to be one of the greatest wildlife encounters you could have anywhere in the world, sharing the sea with a saltwater crocodile. Absolutely extraordinary…that was spectacular.”
 
Also in tonight’s episode, Steve goes free-diving in search of a foreign invader, the barbed lion fish, so voracious that it’s eating all the other fish in the area. 
 
Native to the Indo-Pacific Seas, it’s thought that just six lion fish were accidentally released into these waters from an aquarium during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and in less than 25-years they’ve destroyed many of the natural fish populations of this reef.
 
Steve then travels four hours up the coast to Playa del Carmen, one of the fastest growing cities in Latin America with tourists drawn to the beautiful beaches, and just off-shore there is another visitor attracted here, one of the most awe-inspiring predators on the entire planet: the bull shark. 
 
Aggressive predators who earn their nickname ‘pitbull of the sea’, the bull sharks eat anything they can get their teeth into, and with them often found near to shore, this makes them one of the deadliest sharks to humans.
 
Wanting to encounter the bull sharks up close, Steve dives into the waters, but as the sharks start circling him, 25-metres down, Steve struggles to draw oxygen from his tank, prompting a his dive buddy to swim to his aide.
 
Nearing the end of his adventure in Mexico, there’s one final predator Steve wants to see before he leaves, one that hunts in total darkness: the Mexican night snake. After two hours of searching deep underground, Steve is in luck as he spots one of these stealthy predators.
 
With Steve’s time in Mexico at an end, he says: “My time in Mexico is up, and more than the deadly rattlesnake, the bull shark, the alien lion fish, or the mighty American crocodile, for me the Mexican night snake is its ultimate fierce animal. In total darkness, and against all the odds, it’s found a way to feed off flying mammals.”