TODAY | March 25, 2014
>> in some of the biggest films and tv shows in the last decade from his turn in " lord of the rings " movies to his role as charlie on "lost."
>> his true passion, though, is research and conservation of animals. that's why he's the creator, executive producer and host of the bbc america show " wild things " where he comes face to face with some of the most dangerous and interesting animals on the planet.
>> but as you might imagine, sometimes things don't always go as planned.
>> this wounded giant quickly starts and what happens next surprises everyone. we're about to have a dangerous encounter.
>> that is crazy! is your camera guy okay?
>> he's okay. but he fell down and we had to have a medic like jump in front of the elephant essentially and stop the elephant from killing him.
>> wow. pretty crazy.
>> that's episode one.
>> coming out with a bang.
>> and that's not the most exciting thing that happens in the season. really crazy stuff happens this season.
>> how do you balance giving the crazy stuff with obviously not injuring yourself?
>> we don't predict the crazy stuff, that happens around, you know, what i'm attempting to do is change people's ideas about animals that most people are scared of. and if we get in situations where things crack up, we have to go with it. opened up a few times this year --
>> what do you mean by opened up?
>> like 40 stitches in my arm from an animal that we will reveal later on.
>> but not this animal.
>> this is a gorgeous dragon. they're super fast.
>> dangerous in any way?
>> no, you'd be in more danger of being hurt by a kitten than you are from this lizard. he has like slightly webbed feet in the back that allows him to run on water essentially. if he needs to escape. see this little dot ? that's a third eye. so these guys have the ability to know the changes in seasons, to know when the sun's going to be hot and shiny, based on this third eye.
>> were you a kid with a lot of animals in your room and escape that way?
>> yeah, i kept lizards all my life, i had snakes. at school, i would go around the playground and take bees and wasps and if i was in a class i didn't like let bees and wasps --
>> a good trick.
>> i would think so.
>> someone's lurking behind us.
>> now they're usually --
>> a handoff here.
>> thank you. we're going to switch this out. pythons are usually associated with being very large, very muscular snakes. this is a black-headed python. they get a little bit bigger than that. but not a huge amount bigger. they're from australian. commonly confused with the tiger snake . these guys are completely harmless. again, no ability really to bite you. and they have this very smooth head.
>> almost looks wet.
>> yes, it does look wet, which indicates they're very good at borrowing under the ground because that shape allows them to essentially swim through the earth. somebody's going to be brave. not slimy, right?
>> no. not at all.
>> come on.
>> this is where you go.
>> we can do it off camera. i don't need to, you know.
>> you don't want to.
>> not very fast. a lot of snakes require fast looks. this guy thinking about being fast. that's about the fastest.
>> one more.
>> so we have this over here.
>> and is that like a skunk?
>> no. it's a lizard.
>> he's putting gloves on.
>> well, this is a very protective mother as mothers should be and she has a baby. she has the potential of getting bity. this is not the type of lizard you want to hang on to. very muscular jaws on these guys.
>> that's the baby?
>> and there's the little baby. very cute.
>> so the baby is gorgeous.
>> look at the baby. oh, going to the bathroom .
>> as i said, as with good moms, they want to take care of their kids.
>> thank you so much. season 2 of " wild things " premieres tonight on the bbc america .