Who needs werewolves this Halloween when vampire bats are feasting on human flesh in Mexico? Casey Anderson, the host of new Travel Channel series Monster Encounters, probably never had to wear a scary mask in his life. He is on a first name basis with some of the largest and fiercest creatures on the planet. The wildlife expert tracks down and documents evidence of animals so large, or unusual they defy belief. Monster Encounters premieres in time for Halloween, on Tuesday, October 30 at 10:00 p.m.
Anderson brings a lifetime of wildlife experience, and the latest technologies “to remote corners of the earth in search of elusive creatures,” according to the press statement. He spent the last 24 years traveling the world, capturing wildlife and nature through the camera lens.
“I traveled to some of the earth’s most inaccessible regions. My daily commute to work put me on the back of elephants, in acrobatic helicopters, or on a ride in a speed boat along rivers in the middle of nowhere,” Anderson said in a statement.
Throughout the eight hour-long episodes, he leaves no stone unturned, collecting clues and connecting the dots until he gets up-close and personal with the beasts he seeks. The first episode finds Anderson in Mexico where it looks like vampire bats are attacking humans.
He learns the bats have been “fattening up on cattle, and as a result their population has grown as much as 25 percent,” the statement says. “Heading directly to the source – the country’s caves and cattle ranches – Anderson risks his safety to become the prey in his hunt for a mega-colony of bloodsuckers. After meeting a rancher who claims he was bitten by a bat, Anderson recreates the scene hoping that he too will be bitten – and it’s a terrifying success. Undeniable proof that bats are feeding on humans!”
“I found myself in places with names like ‘Devil’s Cave,’ ‘The Elephant Graveyard’ and ‘The Death Road.’ I was attacked repeatedly by a massive crocodile in the Zambezi River, wrestled a giant anaconda in the Amazon and was bitten and feasted upon by a vampire bat in Mexico – and this is just the first season,” Anderson said.
Anderson spent his childhood exploring the vast Montana wilderness he grew up in. Photographing and videoing his adventures were a way provide his outrageous accounts in the wild to his classmates. He was guiding wildlife filmmakers into remote locations to film the wild animals by the time he was eighteen.
After the 26-year old a wildlife expert, filmmaker, adventurer and explorer adopted an orphaned baby grizzly bear he was moved to co-found the Montana Grizzly Encounter, a sanctuary for grizzly bears saved from inhumane situations.
Anderson heads to Nepal to lead a search for rogue cats for the episode “Man-Eating Tigers” after national parks report man-eating tigers attacking local villagers. “By elephant back, raft and on foot, Anderson moves into the killing zone to track the man-killers,” according to the synopsis. The episode premieres Tuesday, November 6 at 10 p.m.
Following reports that a renegade giant man-eating crocodile named Bizmark is terrorizing the Zambezi River, Casey Anderson heads to Zimbabwe and Zambia to launch an investigation in the episode “Killer Croc.” “Working with local crocodile experts, he meets with witnesses and heads far downriver toward Lake Kariba, ground zero for crocodile attacks,” according to the synopsis. “Anderson puts his own life at risk as he goes into a custom-built crocodile cage to try and trap the fierce reptile.” The episode premieres Tuesday, November 13 at 10 p.m.
“Mauling Marsupial” premieres Tuesday, November 20 at 10 p.m. “Spurred by reports that a presumably extinct predator may still be alive, Casey Anderson heads to Australia to investigate mysterious sightings and attacks by a marsupial lion,” reads the official statement. “But as Anderson heads deep into the wilderness, he finds that the evidence points to another possible mystery.”
Monster Encounters premieres on Tuesday, October 30 at 10:00 p.m. on Travel Channel.
Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City’s Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.