Wild Recon

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Wild Recon TV Poster Image
Close encounters of the animal kind are iffy for young kids.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show touches on themes like conservation and cloning as Schulz talks about the plight of animals threatened by extinction and discusses how scientists can use DNA samples to reintroduce a species into a habitat after it’s been driven out.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Schulz and his crew are always respectful of the animals they encounter and treat them as humanely as poosible as they work with them.

Violence

Schulz wrangles even the largest and deadliest animals with relative safety to himself, but his tactics might seem cruel to the untrained eye. He wrestles them to the ground and holds them down to extract blood and tissue samples, and, in the case of venomous reptiles, purposely agitates them to milk their poison. Often he or another crew member subdues an animal with a tranquilizer gun. But Schulz always explains his actions and offers reassurance that the animals are being treated humanely and that the information gained is invaluable.

Sex
Language

No cursing, but a few instances of "oh my God" used as an exclamation.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Schulz mentions drugs as they relate to the research he conducts. For example, scientists use the blood, venom, and DNA samples he gathers to help create new medications for cancer, hypertension, and arthritis.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that young kids will likely be confused and possibly frightened by star/host Donald Schulz’s handling of the dangerous animals he studies in this wildlife show. The tactics he uses to subdue them and collect blood and venom samples can seem cruel (using tranquilizer guns, wrestling animals to the ground and pinning them down, and agitating poisonous reptiles to milk their venom). Although Schulz always explains his actions and offers reassurance that he's as humane as possible, kids may need a reminder about how regular people should behave around wild animals.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTulananian February 15, 2010

This Show Should Revisit Its Purpose - If One Can Say It Has A Purpose At All

I think this person needs to scale back his act. If he's so allergic to snake bites, why is he handling them without protection! One show had him in a ca... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bysuper movie reviewer February 8, 2010
i love this show! But he is working with the DEADLEAIST animals in the whole WORLD! That can be scary to younger kids.
Kid, 11 years old July 31, 2010

Boon's rating

This man is crazy! he abuses animals and tackles them to the ground. the sexual content is mild, except for one episode where he picks up a snake and says it ha... Continue reading

What's the story?

In WILD RECON, animal expert and self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie Donald Schulz travels the world collecting venom and DNA samples from a variety of species for medical research. Whether wrestling human-sized emus or outmaneuvering some of the world’s deadliest snakes, Schulz is no stranger to the perils of working with animals -- and his dedication to the cause offers hope for the future of both the species he works with and the people who are helped by the medical research the samples enable.

Is it any good?

This fast-paced, action-packed series is a cross between a nature show and a heart-pumping drama, and viewers will find their adrenaline flowing right along with Schulz’s as he attempts to gain access to dangerous species like sea snakes, monitor lizards, and rhinos. Schulz's passion for wildlife is clear, and a lifetime of experience pays dividends in his obvious expertise with the critters he handles. Viewers are treated to a wealth of intriguing facts and close-up glimpses of each one he meets.

That said, some of the show’s content may confuse kids, including themes like cloning and animals’ role in medical research. Kids also may not understand why Schulz seems to break basic rules in how he handles animals, like pulling one by its tail or intentionally irritating a poisonous snake, for example. If your kids do tune in, be sure to follow up with a discussion about safe ways for them to relate to animals -- and a list of which animals they should never approach.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the how the media can affect a person’s impression of controversial issues. Do you think "good" TV has to have a strong message? What messages does this show send?

  • Kids: What animal species do you know of that are endangered? What factors have played a role in their demise? What steps can people take to ensure their continued existence?

  • Families can also discuss the themes raised by this show, including cloning. What are the implications of cloning? Should the rules be different for cloning animals and humans? Why or why not?

TV details

For kids who love nature

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