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    Go on a safari with Niall McCann on Biggest and Baddest

    Niall McCann takes viewers on an expedition around the globe, focusing on the animal kingdom. From the Cassowaries of Australia to the wild hogs in Texas and Florida to the slippery anacondas in Guyana and gentle elephants in Nepal, McCann brings exotic wildlife to your television screens. We quiz him on Season 2 of Biggest and Baddest.

    On the show.
    It’s going to be a combination of conservation and adventure. We will show you the charismatic side of the animals we deal with, their survival, conflicts with humans and their intellectual qualities.

    Close calls.
    A lion woke up earlier than expected. It had been hit with a tranquiliser and was literally five feet away from me when it awoke, fully alert, angry and began to roar. Our cameraman was luckily able to capture it, but we made a run for it as soon as he got the shot.

    Most exotic location.
    I have filmed and worked in a lot of places that have taken my breath away but if I had to pick one it would definitely be Venezuela. The wildlife in South America is exotic and very different from what you’d expect in say, Africa. While the latter is all about the large creatures, South America offers smaller though equally dangerous animals and stunning landscapes.

    The challenges of shooting
    with animals.
    Finding them in the first place, is the biggest challenge. How we deal with the unpredictability is working closely with local experts and natives who know the environment well and can fairly accurately predict what to expect when. We also work extremely hard, day and night, with little or no breaks so as to never miss anything.

    Your tryst with the anaconda.
    We had been set up in Venezuela, trying to sight the elusive anaconda. When we had almost lost all hope, someone from the Iguana tribe came up to us and told to go further upstream from where our boat was docked. We were lucky to spot not just one but two of them, about five and half feet long.

    Favourite episodes.
    I loved the episode where we dealt with the conflict between humans and the formidable man-eating crocodiles in Uganda’s Apac region. They’re 25 feet long and seven feet wide. We also helped rescue lions in another episode where the creature are forced to take to the trees due to encroachment by villagers.

    Most interesting discovery.
    I am always looking under logs
    and rocks to see if I can find anything unusual. One day, I spotted a colony of single cell organisms moving slowly on a tree trunk. It was so fascinating and we just could not figure out what it was as we had never seen it before. Turns out it was a bryozoa or a moss animal.
    Weekdays, 9pm on
    Animal Planet.

    — Rashmi Rajagopal

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