Matt Wright’s new show, Wild Croc Territory Is now streaming on Netflix. In the show, the Aussie native is shown exploring the Australian outback, finding and relocating crocodiles, water buffalo, and other animals including polar bears.
He is also shown with his wife, Kaia, and family, as well as his fearless team. This could certainly bring some comparisons to another Australian whose love of nature and sharing his knowledge made him beloved around the world.
Most importantly, he is thrilled that this series will showcase his beautiful country. Wright was raised in the Australian outback and Papua New Guinea. As a child, he was fascinated by dangerous pets that he would bring to school. As an adult, he served in the military.
Because of this, he is now an experienced chopper pilot, using those skills in his relocation work. He also works with everyone from scientists and indigenous elders, to wild management authorities and cattle owners in his work.
The 42-year-old even starred in the National Geographic series Outback Wrangler and has even written two books. Somehow, he managed to find time in early 2022 to film this Netflix show.
In this exclusive interview with Matt Wright, he discusses his work, the environment, his team, and what he wants fans to get out of his new Netflix show.
How Did Matt Wright Get Into Crocodile Relocation?
Matt, how did you ever get into crocodile relocation? I realize you live in the Northern Territory, but I am pretty sure your occupation is unique even in your remote area.
I’ve loved reptiles ever since I was as a kid, I used to tail brown snakes (one of the deadliest animals in the world), put them into a bucket and bring them home to show my Mum and my first pet was a 12-foot python named Solomon, who I used to handle every day. I had a connection, understanding and love of reptiles for a long time, then I moved to the northern part of Australia in my early 20s, which allowed my passion to grow from snakes to include crocodiles.
I also got my helicopter license, which is a must when working in my profession, as a lot of the wildlife relocation work in the northern part of Australia is extremely remote. I had the right mix of skills and an existing understanding of reptiles, their habits and behaviors, so it was the perfect job for me. I’ve been relocating crocs for over 20 years now; it’s second nature and the animals are a part of me.
Who Matt Wright’s Military Training Prepared Him For This Work
How does your military training prepare you for relocating the crocodiles and wild buffalo? Does the knowledge of flying copters and military strategies help you in this job?
Army training teaches you skills like teamwork, resilience and the ability to perform under pressure. But to be honest, when it comes to working with animals it has nothing to do with military training. It’s a basic instinct that you either have or you don’t. Being able to handle tense situations with wildlife relocations or emergency situations comes from experience of living and working in the bush and catching brown snakes and taipans at 7 years old. These experiences laid the foundation for my work with other animals. I’ve travelled around the world and have been able to handle and understand animals from rhinos, to bison, bears and crocodiles – if you’re born with that innate connection, respect and understanding for animals that’s the most important skill. Flying helicopters is just the tool to get the job done, and having my license as well as the endorsement to sling, means I can catch a crocodile in a remote place, secure it in a net under a 100-foot line on a chopper and relocate it to safer ground underneath the helicopter.
Why Is Relocation Important?
Why is it important to relocate and not capture or even destroy crocodiles or wild buffalo?
My work is all about keeping the balance between animals and humans so they can co-exist peacefully. Destroying a crocodile that’s in its natural habitat because its eating cattle or livestock is not the solution, that’s a very final and heartless quick fix. Whereas, relocating it to a waterway or waterhole where it can’t attack livestock or people and continue to live happily is a much better solution.
How Did Matt Wright Pick His Team?
How did you pick your team?
A lot of the guys on the show or who are involved in the wildlife relation team have worked for me in one of my adventure tourism businesses first. The adventure tourism businesses are the best training ground to see if people have what it takes to do the same sort of work in the wild and off the grid. The businesses involve driving air and charter boats, flying choppers, feeding crocodiles, taking people fishing and mud-crabbing and operating buggies and heavy machinery. Once someone has been around in the business for long enough and has shown they’re capable and switched on then they start helping me out with wild animal relocations and work.
This Is How Matt Wright Find Team Members With The ‘Right Stuff’
How do you know if a potential team member has the “right stuff”? This is no normal job description!
Level-headedness, good problem-solving abilities, bush skills and an understanding of wildlife are the main characteristics I look for when choosing my team. A lot of the guys also have their chopper license or coxswains ticket (commercial boat license) which come in handy working in remote areas.
How Does Matt’s Wife Kaia, Family Support Matt’s Venture?
You have a young family. How do they support you in this venture?
Protecting wildlife and people is the cornerstone of what I do and the new show has lots of animal adventures but it also showcases my wife and I raising our young family off the grid, learning about the land from local Indigenous traditional owners and running our remote adventure tourism businesses that showcase the very best of outback Australia. I love being connected to the land and want my kids to understand animals and respect them, not fear them. My wife is also the brains behind our businesses, she runs the office and I run the operation, we’re a great team.
Matt Wright Describes The Outback Lifestyle
What is the outback lifestyle?
It’s relaxed, adventurous and peaceful however it can be relentless and hard at times. It’s freedom giving, inspiring and grounding – it really is a way of life that gets under your skin, the Australian bush has a pull on me that always draws me back in.
Here Is What Matt Wright Wants Viewers To Get Out Of Netflix Show
What do you want viewers of Wild Territory to get out of this Netflix show? Do you want them to get out into nature or to learn more about the animals or something else?
I want to encourage viewers to take the time to understand animals that they may sometimes fear, because as soon as they understand their habits and behaviors, they’ll soon realized there is nothing scary about them, it’s all about being aware and having respect when you’re in their environment. I promise you that humans are a lot scarier than snakes and crocs!
The show is full of epic adventures in the bush, and I take my young family along for the ride with wild croc catches, waterfall adventures, fishing, hunting and lots of other antics.
As a part of that I want to show people in the city what freedom and connection to nature is like, and how great it is to raise children in the outback which will hopefully inspire people to get out more, and maybe even come over to the Australian bush and visit us!
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