Every year, venomous snakes kill over 100,000 people and hospitalize thousands more. Despite this staggering number, the deadly venom is also used to save lives in the production of anti-venom. There’s a problem though: anti-venom supplies are dwindling every year, making the stakes even higher for brave professionals who harvest this equally deadly and precious substance. New Discovery series VENOM HUNTERS will follow four brave teams of expert snake hunters who have the guts and skills to chase down the world’s most venomous snakes and collect this highly toxic liquid. Each team has unique motivations and thrives on the thrill of the hunt, but they all share the same goal: saving the lives of others. The series premiere of VENOM HUNTERS debuts Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 10/9c on Discovery.
From the Florida swamplands and the plains of Oklahoma, to the Australian outback and Arizona desert, the fearless venom experts will put their lives on the line to track, catch and harvest the venom from these deadly reptiles. The demand for venom is at an all-time high as it is now being used to not only create anti-venom, but also as a key part of cutting-edge medical research that aims to treat diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. With over 600 species of venomous snakes worldwide, these hunters will be risking their lives with every step – one wrong move could be their last.
Meet the four teams of VENOM HUNTERS:
· Tim Fitzer (53), Kevin Baker (52) and Hannah Lockhart (27): Tim Fitzer from Tulsa, OK is a Native American taxidermist, snake hunter and all-around outdoorsman. He has been bitten by venomous snakes five times and works alongside his close friend and teammate of 35 years Kevin Baker and tough newcomer Hannah Lockhart.
· Ed Chapman (76) and Justin Bottrell (34)
Ed Chapman from Miami, FL is a legend within the venom collection and research community. Top labs and medical researchers from all over the world seek out Ed’s high-quality snakes, so in order to keep up with the increasing demand, he has brought on an apprentice, Justin Bottrell. Together, this duo has traveled all over America, keeping clients’ shelves stocked and Ed’s business booming.
· Dan Massey (45) and Melanie Massey (43)
Husband and wife team Dan and Melanie Massey from Sahuarita, AZ are inspired by their love of science, research and animal conservation. Although Dan is a bilateral amputee, he sees his prosthetic legs as an advantage, so not even injury will slow down the team.
· Brian Barczyk (45) and Chewy (47):
Brian Barczyk from Shelby Township, MI has over 25 years of experience breeding and working with over 30,000 snakes and also owns one of the largest reptile collections in the world. His teammate Chewy is an expert in handling non-venomous snakes, so he has a lot to learn from Brian.