'Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan' Star Says Leave Comfort Zone [INTERVIEW][VIDEO]
Dominic Monaghan has some advice for all nature and travel enthusiasts: Step outside your comfort zone, there is nothing to be gained by playing things safe.
You probably know Monaghan as the drug-addicted rock star Charlie in "Lost" or Merry the hobbit from the "Lord of the Rings," but when he isn't acting, Monaghan travels around the world in search of some of the most exotic wild animals.
In the newest season of "Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan," he first heads to Mozambique to find the world's biggest fish: The whale shark, which can grow over 12 meters in length and weigh up to 42 tons. This is a feat not many have been able to accomplish, as this large shark remains rather elusive and hidden from human observation deep in the ocean. Other animals we see him come face-to-face with include a giant crab in the South Pacific, dangerous electric eels and Madagascar's mythical aye-aye lemur. (Scroll to read more...)
Although Monaghan doesn't have a degree in biology or zoology, he has a passion and curiosity for wildlife he hopes to inspire in all those that watch his show. In an exclusive interview, Monaghan shares with Nature World News what drives his sense of adventure, what it like traveling all around the world, and some of the interesting animals and unique cultures he experiences:
What does this show mean to you?
It is an accumulation of a lot of work, this show. I mean it is kind of the way I holiday around the world - I pick an animal I wanted to see, then travel to where it lives.
If someone asked 'why should I watch the show,' what would you say?
I think everyone is interested in something about the show, whether it is the animals or human culture or street food or travel. Also, everyone wants to learn about our planet, which you can do from the comfort of your living room.
What was your favorite animal adventure?
Probably the two most stand-out experiences were the world's biggest fish, the whale shark - which was an incredible experience, but also being in the forests of Madagascar in the early morning and being around the world's biggest lemur and hearing it sing.
In your opinion, what are some of the most spectacular places you visited?
Bolivia and Belize were fantastic. We also went to South Africa, which I had never been to before; and Peru, which is my favorite South American country.
We were lucky enough to travel to a lot of different locations - 13 locations in total, and you get what you give in those locations.
How much time did you spend traveling to the different locations?
We're not finished making the show yet. It's probably been about nine months' worth of work, and it will probably end up being about 11 months' worth. It takes a long time to shoot the show - we have to do a huge amount of traveling to get to these places that are off the beaten path.
We've got 12 [done] and the last place we are going is Bali, Indonesia.
How long do you get to spend at each location?
The longest we've ever been in one place I think has been like 12 days, then some of the places we are only in for eight days. So it's a very, very fast shoot, but we do expose ourselves to quite a bit of culture.
I love it, it's great. I get the opportunity, here and there, when I am in the market and can chat with the locals or talk to kids - I try to learn some words of their language.
What is one of the most amazing things you have learned?
Probably the most amazing thing that I have learned is that we all want the same things: We all want a roof over our heads; we all want to be warm at night; we all want enough money to buy food; we all want our family or our kids to be safe and happy; And we all want to just enjoy our life and have a good time. The more you travel around the world, the more you realize human beings are all the same.
Where does your life-long love for animals stem?
I grew up with a biology teacher (father) and a mother who was interested in animals. My dad kept a very good garden with a lot of animals in it, so I would constantly be watching animals roam about.
I also bought a lot of books on wildlife when I was a kid. Then, consequently, I have been lucky enough to travel to some crazy locations, either with work or on my own, to see some of the animals I always have wanted to see in the wild.
I have realized, too, that a lot of their habitat is being destroyed. So, I got involved with different foundations to try and spread awareness about protecting those areas for the animals.
The third season of "Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan" premieres the Travel Channel beginning Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 10 p.m. ETA.
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