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 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.
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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?
For kids who love nature
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