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My name's Steve Backshall.
You can call me Steve.
I'm on a mission to find the Deadly 60 -
that's 60 deadly creatures from around the world.
And you're coming with me every step of the way.
So where are we this week?
Borneo. Louisiana, USA. India!
South Africa. And Australia.
I've travelled the world for my Deadly 60 list.
From the smallest to the largest,
all the animals we met are deadly in their own right.
But this programme is about animals that can be deadly to people.
First we meet an animal people in South Africa fear the most.
More people are killed by hippos here than any other mammal.
One who lived to tell the tale is Robert.
If you're having your tea, you might want to look away now.
If any of you out there have any doubt whatsoever
that the hippo can be a lethal creature, just see this.
'Robert was out picking fruit when he was charged by a hippo.
'He tried to escape up a tree, but the hippo caught him.
'It bit right through his leg and into the tree,
'which still shows the tooth mark.'
To get close to them, I'm taking to the kayak.
'Hippos eat plants, not people, but don't like people on their patch
'and can be very protective of their young.
'Two have been sighted downstream.'
That's our first hippo.
Just around this corner.
He's big and he's spotted us as well.
I don't know if you heard that, but that was an audible threat to us.
He's the one that's nervous,
but actually there's no doubt who's more at home in this environment.
It's definitely him.
That huge breath of air was definitely meant to scare me.
Starting to get dark now. They'll get more active.
They come out of the water. This is the most dangerous time.
I'm certainly not hanging around when he could bite my boat in half
and could be right underneath me.
Look - he's just there! He's come right past us!
I don't believe it. He's just sat in the river.
That's the other one. 'He's come up, blocking my exit.
'The crew can see him. I can't. They have to be my eyes.'
-He's in front here...
-He's right there.
Coming right towards you! Steve, go, go, go!
-I'm coming to the bank, guys.
-THEY ALL SHOUT
'This has now become a very serious situation.
'I can't go upstream or downstream.
'I'm going to have to try to find another way out.'
Go back the way you came!
-Here in front of you...
-Follow my arm.
'He's turned and he's coming for me again.
'It's now or never.'
-Go, go, go!
-'I've seen a possible exit. It's a shallow stream,
'not somewhere I want to get stuck with an angry hippo.'
He's coming to the bank, guys!
You all right?
I tell you what, that just shows you
you can never be complacent with wild animals.
It also shows why hippos have to be on the Deadly 60.
That was too close for comfort.
'That was one of our closest calls.
'Next up is a predator that's been haunting the world's waterways
'since before the dinosaurs.'
It's an essential candidate for the Deadly 60. We headed to Australia.
The saltwater crocodile, also known as the salty.
Now these things really do scare me.
It's the world's largest crocodile
and can grow to over six metres and weigh as much as a ton.
They live in rivers, lakes and even in the sea.
It's one of the few animals that can hunt, kill
and eat a human being. If they do attack, they rarely leave survivors.
Here in the Northern Territories, rivers are full of big crocodiles,
but local people have learnt how to deal with it.
Every once in a while, though,
a crocodile associates people with food. That IS a problem.
'Tonight we're hunting a particular croc
'that's been taking a bit too much interest in some fishermen.
'We have to find this crocodile. If we leave it much longer,
'there could be lethal consequences.
'After several hours of searching, one ranger thinks we've found it.'
-Just go to your right. He's mid-stream there.
He's just in there.
-Bigger than I thought.
-He's a good size!
-Watch the camera.
-'Good job we've got a metal-hulled boat.'
'This is a seriously tough creature and we're not doing him any harm,
'but he is understandably pretty angry.'
So this is the problem croc we were hoping to find.
He has been hanging out near people.
A croc this size could do a lot of damage.
I think we'll drag him to the ramp and get him onto dry land,
then work out a plan of what to do with this monster.
'A half-ton crocodile that's playing dead takes quite some shifting.'
Now that he's out the water,
you can appreciate what makes this such an incredibly powerful animal.
Look at the size of the tail down next to Mark the cameraman.
I mean, that is just packed with muscle.
It really is a terrifying looking creature.
Obviously not a croc in absolute peak condition.
That's why he's turned from his usual prey of fish
to kind of picking up scraps and being too close to people.
It's not much of a leap from there to actually taking a person.
'The hippo and the croc are giants of the animal world,
'but you don't have to be big to be dangerous.
'Australia is home to one of the smallest creatures on our list.
'Despite it being small, it's one people fear more than anything.'
Come and get a load of this!
Tucked in here is one of the most feared spiders in the world.
in some other parts of the world this is known as the Black Widow.
In Australia it's called a Redback.
I'll see if I can get her out.
I'll just coax her out onto the web.
Here she comes. There.
There she is. Let's see if I can light it up with my torch.
Isn't she wonderful?
It probably looks like this is just an untidy mess of a web,
in comparison to the beautiful dewdrop-covered ones
you find in your back garden,
but actually this is a brilliantly designed way
of catching insects.
'It's underneath this messy part of the web
'that the really clever stuff happens. This maze of trap lines
'is attached to the ground so when this ant wanders by
'it trips one of the threads and is catapulted into the air.
'It's left dangling, helpless.
'The silken threads of the Redback can catch large trapdoor spiders
'and even lizards. The victim's struggles cause the line to vibrate,
'alerting the ever-ready female Redback. She'll haul it up, bite it
'and paralyse it.
'The venom, which is designed to immobilise its prey,
'is also extremely toxic to us.
'About 600 people a year get bitten.'
Right. To get a closer look at her, I need to bring her out of the web.
Being as this is one of the most venomous spiders in the world,
with a bite dangerous to humans, I'll have to do that carefully.
Right. Come on, lady.
'I'm just going to use my rope knife to coax her out.'
There she is. Wow!
As long as she doesn't feel restrained or restricted,
you can really... She's very unlikely to bite.
That wonderful red flash down the abdomen gives her her name.
Their amazing elastic web and a bite which could even do me some damage
means the Redback spider is definitely on the Deadly 60.
'50 or 60 years ago, Redbacks did kill people,
'but if I got bitten now, a dose of anti-venom and I should be OK.
'Although it would still hurt - a lot.
'The next group of animals do kill thousands of people every year.
'They're the snakes.'
'Snakes will only strike us in self-defence
'and very few are deadly to humans.
'But on my travels, I met some of the most lethal ones on the planet.
'Like this Rinkhals in Africa,
'the Tiger snake in Australia, rattlesnakes in America,
'the reticulated python in Borneo...' Awesome!
'..and even our home-grown adder.
'But one snake kills more people than any other.'
-Have you got it?
-A saw-scale viper.
'We're in India, home to the saw-scaled viper.'
-Is that the noise of the scales?
-Wow, that's fantastic.
Can you get your boom in so you can listen to that?
The way it makes that sound and is the saw-scaled viper
is that all of the scales are running against each other,
like being drawn against each other, as if you took a comb
and run your finger down the end of it. That's how it makes the noise.
It's crazy to think of all the snakes in this area,
so many are much bigger but, to humans, nothing like as dangerous.
We're supposed to lose 20,000-50,000 people every year to snake bites.
-From this one exactly we don't know.
-That's absolutely amazing.
'20,000-50,000. That's like a small town of people
'being killed every year.
It's a simple equation. Millions of people are working in the fields.
'Bare feet plus camouflaged snakes
'equals all over in as little as 15 minutes.'
That's just to tell me to go away.
Being as it's so early in the morning, I think I'll go away.
'He's tiny, but the saw-scaled viper is the most deadly snake in India
'and, arguably, in the world.
'Like the saw-scaled viper, the next killer is packed with venom
'so I need to tread carefully.
'I wasn't trying to find one in a disco.
'This is a fat-tailed scorpion. It's nocturnal and it glows
'under this blueish ultraviolet light.'
OK. Got to hold my nerve here.
I'm getting pinched, but the pinch is not the problem.
I can hold him down.
This is the scorpion I was really hoping to find round here.
Now I'm going to show you why I've been carrying this torch around.
If I get rid of my normal light, look at that.
Now you'll notice that I haven't got this one on my hand,
nor am I trying to get it to sting me.
If it did, well, my trip would certainly be over.
This is probably one of the most venomous scorpions in Africa.
The rule of thumb is to look at the size of its pincers
and if those are big they'll be its primary weapon.
And if you look and the tail is big and fat,
the pincers small and thin, this one here has a really nasty punch.
'Our search has taken us to every corner of the globe -
'oceans, deserts, mountains and the frozen tundra of Alaska,
'home to the largest land predator in the world.'
That is like stepping into a deep freeze!
'We're here to find the mighty polar bear.'
There's something out there! A bear!
No more than 150 metres from shore.
So exciting. I can just feel my heart start beating.
Out there is our first polar bear.
'He might look cute and cuddly, but be under no illusion.
'Life is harsh out here. Anything that moves is a potential meal
'and that includes me.
'Temperatures here are cold enough to freeze human flesh solid.
'Only the toughest survive,
'but the polar bear is perfectly equipped for these conditions.
'They can smell a seal from up to 20 miles away.
'Once located, they can punch clean through ice and snow.
'It's game over for any animal pursued by this awesome predator.'
What a magnificent creature.
'We then headed south to try to find another bear for the list -
'the iconic grizzly.
'The grizzly bear is a predator at the top of the food chain.
'They can eat just about anything,
'can outrun a racehorse, stand over 10 feet high,
'and have a sense of smell to put a bloodhound to shame.
'All we need to do now is find one.'
Oh, bear! Bear!
Dead ahead of us.
Look at that.
He's gone right into the water!
He's just caught a salmon!
He just reached in and grabbed a salmon!
That is the perfect Alaskan wildlife experience.
Brown bear coming right down to the shoreline to take salmon.
And even though you can't see him, he's only a couple of metres back.
'It's a seriously exciting moment, but we still have to be cautious.
'This bear could get to us in a matter of seconds.'
He's going back down to the shore. Look, here he comes.
He's just sussing us out.
Sniffing the air.
'This bear has a tracking device around its neck.
'This doesn't mean he's tame, but he has been caught
'and this collar allows scientists to keep track of his movements.'
What a privilege.
There he goes!
Did he catch one? Is he going to emerge with a fish in his mouth?
Yes! Look at that!
That's just incredible.
They are utterly spectacular predators.
I don't believe it!
'OK, we're nearly at the end of our killers special.
'And we've seen some awesome animals.
'But there's one whose name strikes fear into the hearts of many people
'and I've come face to face with hundreds of them.'
This time on Deadly 60, we're in the Bahamas!
Here! I'm looking for one very special kind of animal -
'On our trip to the Bahamas, we were mobbed by reef sharks,
'got a bit too close for comfort to some lemon sharks
'and then had an encounter with one of the deadliest sharks anywhere -
'the tiger shark.'
There's just a few tantalising shapes just out here,
probably 15 metres behind the boat. I'm sure there's a tiger shark.
I'll have to get in and look.
Look! There's loads!
'Despite their terrible reputation, tiger sharks can be incredibly shy.
'It's really important that our surface team keep the water baited
'to keep our mysterious dark shapes near the boat.
'As we get into the water, the sharks move further away.'
I reckon that barracuda head could feed me for a week!
It's the perfect bait to bring tigers in.
Look! There ARE tigers about! That's just a youngster, though.
Look at the back. The markings are much clearer at this age.
Go on, take it. Yes! Yes, look at that!
That's a seriously big tiger coming in.
I knew it - it's female.
That must be double the size of the baby.
I bet that was the big shape we saw.
We need to move slowly and relax.
We don't want to scare her off or, worse still, she might go for me
and not the bait.
Here we go!
Now we'll see you in action!
That is awesome!
The guys up top are ready to pull. I reckon she weighs 0.25 of a ton.
She's fairly gentle.
Those teeth could go straight through a turtle's shell.
She's playing with it like a big puppy dog.
'That was unbelievable,
'to get so close to one of the most awesome predators in the ocean.
'But this wasn't the only tiger on the Deadly 60.
'Its namesake is found in India and I've come to find one.
'It wasn't long till I saw the first signs of our striped hero.'
Those four claw marks there are the scratches of a tiger,
stood up on its hind legs, sharpening its claws.
That's pretty high. That's got to be eight feet off the ground.
But our driver said he's seen them 12 feet off the ground.
Way higher than I can reach. That is a serious-sized cat.
'Our driver urges us into the Jeep
'as he thinks the tiger might cross the road deeper in the forest.'
We just passed some people who said somebody is watching a tiger.
So we've hit the gas to get down there as quickly as possible
and we hope it hasn't gone.
There - three cars up ahead.
Oh, yes. I see it.
He's lying still. Oh, wow!
This isn't quite how I'd hoped to see her, surrounded by trucks,
but in some ways this is even more special.
The tiger is really very important to the Indian people.
There's one sitting right there! That's just so beautiful.
Moving further away into the forest.
You'd think bright orange, black and white is a lousy colour scheme
but in amongst these leaves I can barely see her.
It's going to cross the road in front of us.
Look at that.
Just sauntering across the road in front of us.
She's gone, just like that.
That an animal that size can just disappear into the undergrowth
in the blink of an eye... Wow.
We got one! Fantastic!
'It's then that we realised there was more than one tiger.
'Johnny, our cameraman, has moved in for a closer look.'
Move, move, move!
That shows how fast things change with wild animals.
You really wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that
at a bad time. That's why the tiger has to make it onto the Deadly 60.
Move, move, move, move!
Shark! 'Join me next time for more deadly animal encounters.'
Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2009
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