A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this show's stars include crocodiles, lizards, and snakes, and although the host doesn't seem to mind, he occasionally does get nibbled on (and bitten). Part of that is due to his tendency to get in the animals' faces, behavior that kids shouldn't imitate at home. Kids who are leery of bugs and reptiles may want to tune out. Animals are shown close-up in their natural habitats, and viewers are inundated with fun facts about the creatures. Parents may have to answer questions about "breeding" or "mating," as the host often points out occurrences when they're available. Note: Host Steve Irwin was killed in September 2006 following an encounter with a wild stingray.
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What's the story?
THE CROCODILE HUNTER follows wildlife expert Steve Irwin as he traipses through the natural habitats of reptiles of all shapes and sizes. Teaming with his wife, Terri, who assists him and narrates the show, Steve is all about extremes, seeking out the biggest, strongest, and most dangerous creatures he can find. Steve's expeditions bring him face-to-face with reptiles like geckos, crocodiles, and snakes, and his enthusiastic excitement over his finds is infectious. Viewers get a close-up look at specialized feet, tails, and tongues that Steve models and explains for the camera. What sets Steve apart from other on-screen wildlife educators (aside from his trademark hyperactivity) is the crazy lengths to which he goes to nab a subject. The series also focuses on the importance of conservation, and Steve is quick to point out that many of his on-screen locales are endangered.
Is it any good?
The Crocodile Hunter is great for kids who love animal facts, and the ick factor no doubt will add to the fun for some. But parents take note -- Steve often pokes, prods, and pulls at the animals to capture them or prompt some sort of reaction, so kids might need a reminder to not do the same to the creatures they meet.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about wildlife endangerment. How does a species become endangered? What can be done to preserve it? What can you do in your own home to maintain environmental health? Parents also can talk with kids about animals' specialized skills that help them survive. How do animals protect themselves from their environmental dangers? What are some of your own special traits or skills?
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