TV star laps up the wildlife
A RENOWNED daredevil and television star has been searching the Douglas Shire for some of its most deadly inhabitants.
British naturalist Steve Backshall, best known as the host of BBC series spent the weekend filming in the region for a new wildlife documentary project.
Backshall, 42, and his crew teamed up with several locals in a hunt for one of the world’s most venomous snakes — the coastal taipan.
He thanked shire residents for helping with the search, which focused mainly on the Julatten region.
“The thing that I’ve enjoyed the most has been getting a sense of the community,” Backshall told
“We started off with two people wandering around with us. By the end it was like a party. I’ve never had so many people going around to find snakes.
“We pulled up at one guy’s house, and he shifted a whole log with a tractor just to help us — it was unbelievable.
“It shows that people around here will do anything for you.
“It’s been absolutely fantastic, I’ve seen some corners of this part of the world that I haven’t seen before.”
Backshall, who has become a heroic figure for nature-loving children worldwide, also visited the Daintree as part of his tour of Far North Queensland.
He encouraged the shire’s younger generations to take pride in the “exciting wildlife” living at their doorstep.
“As someone who has been to 105 countries around the world, right here is one of the global epicentres for wildlife,” Backshall said.
“Learning about it and getting knowledge is really special. Through that you could generate a lifelong fascination for wildlife.”
Paul O’Dowd, co-director of environmental education company Venture Deeper with his brother Chris, played a pivotal role in bringing Backshall to the shire.
Although their search for the coastal taipan proved futile, Mr O’Dowd said the film shoot was a success.
“Steve has got a pretty big profile and a lot of people are eagerly awaiting his next bit of content,” he said. “To work with someone like him so close to home was not something that comes around very often.”
understands Backshall and his crew will leave Australia this week before heading to Africa. His new television show is expected to be released later this year.
TV star Steve Backshall has been filming in the Far North.