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Nat Geo WILD: ‘Shark Attack Experiment LIVE’

On November 25, Nat Geo WILD is going to go half way around the world to some of the most shark-infested waters on the planet, get into the water with those sharks – with nothing between them and our experts – and systematically test what triggers these animals to attack humans.  And we’re going to do it LIVE on television.

We’re a relatively young network, and this production is… well, let’s just say its size, complexity, and possible danger to crew and experts is – unique – among the animal documentaries we’ve produced to date.  Every possible safety precaution has been taken and we will have emergency medical personal standing by should the worst happen – but these tests and demonstrations will be conducted live, and there are no guarantees.

That’s where this blog will come in.  Over the next several days and counting, we will be documenting the behind the scenes  set-up for the show – the logistics, the rehearsals, the set-backs, and the unexpected – if something doesn’t come off during rehearsals, you’ll find out here. We’ll be prepping you to look out for the most complex and dangerous moments during the live show.  We’ll also be introducing you to the amazing shark experts, marine biologists, underwater camera operators, divers and shark-attack survivors you’ll see during the program.  You’ll hear from producers and the crew too about what makes this show unique.

Reporting from the scene in South Africa is Bob Sitrick, 30-year veteran of live-event television — he’s going to be our eyes and ears on the ground.  Bob will be updating us here on this blog with real-time video packages, photos, and dispatches from the scene – he’ll also be tweeting  from @BobSitrick.  You can join the conversation yourself on Twitter – just use #sharkattack.

As I type this, Bob’s plane has just taken off on the first leg of his 40 hr. trip to Scottburgh, South Africa. And we expect him to be checking in along the way.  In the meantime we’ll let Bob introduce himself in an upcoming post.

So keep checking in over the next several days to see how set-up and rehearsals for the show are going, and stay with us throughout the day on Friday November 25 for the final count-down to the live broadcast at 9P et/6P pt.


  1. Scott E.
    SLO, CA
    February 8, 2012, 12:01 pm

    I missed the Shark Attack Experiment Live airing…I tried to record it, but my mom messed it up, I think. Would love for it to re-air, or possibly a link to where I could watch it online…??? I was really anxious to see this! I am a surfer located JUST south of the southern-most point of the “Red Triangle,” & sharks are always a captivating element associated with the sport! Love NatGeo…Thanks!

  2. apphle legario
    silang cavite
    November 30, 2011, 7:51 am

    i like your show its so awsome

  3. beverly gannon
    United Kingdom
    November 29, 2011, 7:42 pm

    Why dont peeps leave all the mammals and animals alone to live their life. I HATE man.

  4. John
    Shark Attack Experiment LIVE
    November 26, 2011, 10:41 pm

    Just got back from diving with sharks in Mexico and missed the LIVE experiment show. Any chance you will be replaying this episode? Thank you! Love animal interaction!
    Linda & John

    • Matthew Zymet
      November 22, 2011, 1:27 pm

      Hey John,

      Unfortunately, we don’t have a a re-air scheduled in the near future.


      Matt Z.
      Nat Geo WILD

  5. JD
    November 25, 2011, 11:04 pm

    That was a waste of two hours. I anxiously awaited this show/experiment and it was terrible-so much build up over nothing!

    • Matthew Zymet
      November 26, 2011, 4:27 pm

      Hi JD,

      I’m sorry you didn’t like the show. During the show opening and later in the show we explained that the unusually strong ocean currents made it too dangerous to put divers in the water in the dark. We had faced bad weather all week during rehearsals, and while it cleared up a bit right before the show, the currents were still just too hazardous. Sometimes with complicated live television productions, things don’t go as planned. We were more disappointed than anyone we couldn’t bring more of the show to you live.

      Good or bad, we appreciate all posts about the show. Thanks for sharing your feelings.


      Matt Z.
      Nat Geo WILD

  6. jim
    United States
    November 25, 2011, 9:08 pm

    Nat Geo channel is showing rocket city rednecks! what’s wrong?

    • Matthew Zymet
      November 25, 2011, 9:12 pm

      Hey Jim!

      Shark Attack Experiment LIVE is on the other Nat Geo network, Nat Geo WILD!


      Matt Z.
      Nat Geo WILD

  7. […] around the globe will get to see the action as it happens, whatever will happen.  Here’s the write-up from the Nat Geo site: On November 25, Nat Geo WILD is going to go half way around the world to some of the most […]

  8. David Braun
    November 20, 2011, 1:53 pm


    The more we can learn about what triggers sharks to attack people, the better we will become at learning how to live with them. National Geographic stands firmly behind shark conservation efforts and research that will help alleviate the conflict between these magnificent top predators and ourselves.

    In this part of South Africa, many beaches use shark nets to protect the human bathers at vacation resorts — and sharks become entangled and drown. The beaches must be protected because human life is precious and South Africa needs its tourism industry for the benefit of its people. But everyone wants to find a better way to learn to live with sharks. South Africa was the first country in the world to give official protection to great white sharks, so it does not lightly use measures to protect humans that cause the destruction of sharks. There is ongoing research to find a better way.

    If this experiment can help promote awareness of the fact that humans are not typically a prey species for sharks, and that if we all know what to do and what not to do to minimize the likelihood of even an occasional attack when we are in the water with them, then we will have made progress toward encouraging people to appreciate and care for sharks.

    I don’t work for our Channel and I don’t know a lot about this show, but I do know that we need to educate as many people as possible about sharks and the important role they play in healthy oceans for our own good. It begins by first separating myth from fact.

  9. sherri gibson
    November 20, 2011, 1:12 am


    Why not do something that will help with preservation!