Dominic Monaghan isn’t afraid of you, your exotic pet, or whatever wild creature your slow-pitch softball team uses as its logo.
“I’m not scared of any animal,” the host of the Travel Channel’s “Wild Things” told TheWrap. “Obviously, I’m not stupid enough to not know when I’m in danger.”
“Danger is obviously real, fear is just a little punk that you need to take care of because it’s not doing you any favors,” he said in advance of the documentary series’ third season. “I reject fear, completely.”
That part of our lengthy conversation arose when this reporter admitted a fear of frogs and whales to the ex-“Lost” star — I immediately wished I hadn’t done that.
Monaghan and his “Wild Things” crew have surely been in danger, however. At one point during a taping, they were nearly stampeded — particularly Monaghan’s cameraman — by an angry post-operative African elephant. Another time, an African lion had a similar aggressive reaction after a minor surgery. So, maybe stop providing surgery to really dangerous African mammals?
But the biggest injury Monaghan has sustained during production was a bad bite in his forearm from a Nile Monitor Lizard that required 25-30 stitches. Even that’s no big deal to the actor/conservationist.
“I have a killer scar and it made a cool piece of TV, so I was pretty happy in the long run,” he said.
Monaghan won’t complain, because he’s as geeky about wild animals as many fans are about “Lost” or “The Lord of the Rings.” Even if he didn’t have a TV show about this stuff, Monaghan would be reading and researching these creatures in his downtime.
“I do my homework,” he said, “but it’s something I’d be sitting around in my house doing homework on anyway.”
That said, he’s an adventurer, not a scientist — and he brings that fun, honesty and spontaneity to “Wild Things.” “I never want to come across as an expert, because I’m not an expert,” Monaghan said. “We kind of fly by the seat of our pants.”
Watch Monaghan and crew fly by the seat of their pants — over to Mozambique, specifically — on a new Travel Channel season beginning tonight at 10/9c. Below is the cable channel’s episode description.
On the season premiere, Monaghan explores Mozambique, Africa’s eastern gem known for its 1,600 miles of unbroken and emerald coastline. Here, Monaghan is hot on the trail of the largest fish on the planet — the whale shark, which can weigh up to 42 tons. Along the way, he enters a local boat race; partakes in an annual fishing celebration; and runs into school children who point him to everything from harmless to dangerous creatures.