Steve Backshall interview!
NG KiDS catches up with wildlife expert Steve Backshall…
NG Kids: Hi Steve, what’s the most amazing animal you’ve encountered?
Steve: Hi NG Kids! There have been too many to pick just one, but one of the most remarkable creatures was a Humboldt squid, which we filmed for Deadly 6. It was larger than me and nearly sucked a chunk out of my head!
NG Kids: Which is the most dangerous animal you have filmed?
Steve: Wild animals are generally not dangerous to people unless they do something to threaten them. In Deadly 60 we look at their danger to other animals and the phenomenal abilities they show when they’re hunting prey. For instance, I just got back from filming thresher sharks in the Philippines – they have a tail that’s twice as long as their body which they use for thrashing and herding their prey. Yikes!
NG Kids: Do you ever get scared when you’re filming extreme creatures?
Steve: Yes, sometimes, but not of the animals you’d probably expect. I do a lot of work with venomous snakes and spiders and so those critters don’t scare me because I understand them very well. Whereas, large mammals like big bull elephants are about as frightening as animal encounters get!
NG Kids: Has anything ever gone wrong while you were filming your show?
Steve: Things go wrong all the time as you can’t predict how an animal is going to behave. But, luckily, I have a really good team around me and we all make sure we take care of each other.
Steve gets close with a venon-spitting cobra snake!
NG Kids: Can you tell us about one scary moment that stands out in your mind?
Steve: Sure, one day I was filming humpback whales in a sea kayak in Alaska. All of a sudden a pod of the whales came to the surface to gulp down mouthfuls of herring and very nearly swallowed me and my kayak as well!
NG Kids: What creature would you like to film that you haven’t had the chance to yet?
Steve: Oh there are thousands of creatures that I’ve still got to tick off my list. I’d love to film a blue whale, leopard seals in Antarctica, and get a really good sequence of wild wolves to put on my show, too!
Steve has a hairy moment when he handles this venomous centipede!
NG Kids: Where is your favourite place to film animals?
Steve: I love working in tropical rainforests because there are animals all around you and all you have to do is lift up a log and you’ll find something exciting! I also love visiting the Himalayan Mountains because they are so beautiful.
NG Kids: How can NG Kids readers get an exciting wildlife job like yours?
Steve: You’ll need to work really hard at school and pay special attention in science classes. In your spare time, learn as much as you possibly can about animals and the environment. Most importantly, never give up on your dreams!
Check out the Deadly 60 website to find out more, watch episodes on iPlayer and play Deadly 60 games!
Pictures © BBC