Devon Massyn is a television host and producer who specializes in working with animals. His line of work brings him into contact with everything from snakes, to sharks, to elephants and more.He’s definitely a high profile expert when it comes to looking after animals of all shapes and sizes and he has an impressive body of work to show for it. You can follow him on Twitter to know more about his work.
Devon kindly took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for us and to share some of his experiences:
Q1. To get started, could you please tell our readers a little about what you do?
I’m a South African born and raised wildlife filmmaker and producer based out of Los Angeles, CA. I spend my time filming various wildlife for television specials and documentaries, anything from sharks, snakes, and crocodiles to lions. I never know where in the world I will end up so it’s a pretty exciting and fun job, but is very challenging.
Q2. Diving with sharks and wrangling venomous snakes are common occurrences for you. Do you ever feel unnerved?
Somehow I always end up filming apex predators and dangerous animals but I love to show people they are not the mindless killing machines they are made out to be. Interacting and getting close to them really shows their intelligence and tolerance for man. Of course there are occasion where things get a little sketchy, but we have put ourselves in that position and I have yet to have anything go horribly wrong. Respect for any animal is of outmost importance.
Q3. What made you decide to work with animals? Is it something you always wanted to do?
Since I was knee high I have been chasing lizards and snakes much to my parents’ surprise. It’s something that has been in my blood since birth it seems. Growing up I always told people I wanted to be an ornithologist (which half of them couldn’t even spell). Wildlife filmmaking was a natural choice and collaboration for all my passions (animals, science, photography and film).
Q4. As a wildlife film maker and TV producer you come into contact with a lot of different exotic creatures. Do you have any favorites to work with?
For the last few years I have been privileged enough do a lot of shark work for Discovery Channel which has been a blast! Great Hammerheads and Great Whites are a favorite when it comes to the underwater realm. But my passion has always been reptiles … looking for snakes and chameleons are a favorite pastime.
Q5. Is there a big role for vets in the wild? Is this ever something that you get involved with?
I have worked with many vets in the wild, mainly in South Africa where I have filmed the darting of various game for relocation or medical care (elephants, rhinos, cheetah and lions). They play a crucial role in the management and protection of all species. When doing research work vets are also often called in to assist.
Q6. Do you have any pets of your own?
I do have a few reptiles (chameleons, geckos and snakes) … I find them very fascinating and a pleasure to keep. Also perfect pets for someone that travels as much as I have to with work.
Q7. Finally, do you have any upcoming projects that you’d like to share?
I can’t be very specific but look out for a Show I will be hosting on this years Shark Week on Discovery Channel in July and a special on for Big Cat Week on Nat Geo Wild I will be filming in Patagonia next month.