I’m to­tally wild about dan­ger

Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! - ■ EXCLUSIVE by ED GLEAVE TV Edi­tor edward.gleave@dai­lystar.co.uk ●

AD­VEN­TURER Hazen Audel loves his job so much he keeps risk­ing his life for it.

The sur­vival ex­pert, 44, reg­u­larly goes to some of the most ex­treme places on the planet.

And he has lost count of the times his pas­sion has put him in peril.

Hazen said: “I don’t go out look­ing for dan­ger. I just try to find the wildest places be­cause that’s where the wildest an­i­mals are. And to get to those places you have to do un­ortho­dox things.

“I have got­ten my­self into some hairy sit­u­a­tions. I’ve had near-death ex­pe­ri­ences. But I’m still alive so I don’t re­ally know how close I came to dy­ing.

“A lot of the places I’ve been to don’t have roads, so to get from one place to an­other you have to make ca­bles out of bam­boo to swing across a canyon or a river.

“I’m not try­ing to be dan­ger­ous – it just comes with the ter­ri­tory.”

Dur­ing re­cent trips cheated death yet again.

He said: “One of the hairi­est sit­u­a­tions I’ve had was while I was har­vest­ing honey in China. To get to the bee­hive we had to climb a 300ft cliff.

“There were 5,000 bees and I was get­ting stung con­stantly while I was on a lad­der way up high. So I could have eas­ily fallen to my death. It could have been hor­rific.

“It was even more dan­ger­ous when I was in Africa. I was with some hunters at a wa­ter­ing hole wait­ing to see what an­i­mals were around.

“We saw an ele­phant on the hori­zon. They kill a lot of peo­ple there, so the men were on high alert. And then sud­denly there were five ele­phants and we be­came scared.

“Pretty soon it was a herd of about 80 of them com­ing to­wards us at full speed be­cause they wanted wa­ter.

“If we had stayed we would have been tram­pled to death. We ran for our lives.”

Even when he is face to face with deadly an­i­mals, US-born Hazen isn’t fazed.

In fact, he seeks them out.

He said: “I have al­ways loved snakes and I’d al­ways wanted to see a co­bra. And on a re­cent trip I came across one in a rice field.

“I also saw a rare snake called a bam­boo viper. That was re­ally mag­i­cal. When we were in Africa we were be­ing stalked by hye­nas. That was cool.”

While ex­plor­ing the Du­long Val­ley in China, Hazen also faced bears.

And in the Guyanan jun­gle he sur­vived pi­ranha-in­fested wa­ters and dodged bi­ol­o­gist Hazen crocodiles. Hazen added: “Peo­ple might think I’m a sicko for want­ing to be near a co­bra. But I just get tun­nel vision when I see things I’m re­ally pas­sion­ate about.”

Hazen has wanted to see wild an­i­mals since he was young.

He said: “I’d al­ways wanted to be­come a bi­ol­o­gist. When I was 19 I went to Ecuador and stayed for seven months. I en­joyed learn­ing about the na­tive peo­ple. I was in­ter­ested in how they live their lives.

“I went back every year for the next eight years and now I ex­plore the world for a liv­ing. It’s a dream job.”

Hazen runs a suc­cess­ful web se­ries about wild an­i­mals and leads guided trips through places in­clud­ing the Ama­zon.

His cra­zi­est jaunts can be seen in an eye-pop­ping se­ries for Na­tional Geo­graphic – Pri­mal Sur­vivor.

Hazen said: “This se­ries shows how na­tives live and co-ex­ist with dif­fer­ent an­i­mals, and the chal­lenges they face to bring up their fam­i­lies and to sur­vive. “I want to show that there is half of the world where peo­ple have an amaz­ing re­la­tion­ship with na­ture. And I want to show how skilled they are. This is so im­por­tant to me.”

Se­ries four of Pri­mal Sur­vivor is on Thurs­day at 8pm on Na­tional Geo. ■SOME FIN SCARY: Hazen comes face to face with a shark ■TOP OF WORLD: At al­ti­tude in Mex­ico. Above, Cana­dian chill

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.