Want to know a bit more about me?
Here’s a collection of some questions I have been asked over the years.
Q. What camera do you use?
A. Nikon because nothing stops an angry illegal fishermen faster than a metal bodied camera flying at their face (joke!). The pro models are also environmentally sealed which helps in the elements I work in.
Q. What’s the most dangerous animal you’ve worked with?
A. Cows, as they are akin to a chicken driving a car. I also believe they are just lulling us into a false sense of security with their slobbery noses and cute eye lashes. They would kill you in a heart-beat given the chance.
Q. Deepest you’ve ever dived?
A. That’s a pointless question if you don’t mind me saying. Diving is not about depth, it’s about experience. I prefer shallower dives so I can stay down and experience the underwater world longer.
Q. What’s your most unusual animal encounter?
A. I was once bitten on the stomach by a baby orangutan. He had the look of an evil genius about him, a bit like Stewie from Family Guy. I obviously wasn’t playing correctly so he decided I needed to pay him more attention.
Q. Who is the most influential person in your life?
A. My great friend Alan Knight OBE, who is the chief executive of International Animal Rescue, which is an organisation as cool as it sounds. He has gotten me into more trouble than most people I have worked with, which is a very good thing.
Q. Where are you happiest?
Q. What’s mankinds’ greatest invention?
A. The helicopter. It is one of the few machines that fascinates me and has provided me great excitement when I ride in one, which I’ve had to do for work several times.
Q. And the biggest mistake?
A. Plastic. We took something designed for its longevity and decided to turn it into something you throw away before even using the thing it covers. Single-use plastic is by far mankind’s biggest mistake, but there is a long list of errors behind it.
Q. Like what?
A. Well, the concept that animal products can make your sex life better is near the top of the list. Killing rhinos, tigers, sharks and pangolins (the cutest animal on the planet) because it makes inadequate people feel stronger or better is on a par with repeatedly stepping on a rake, something I wish poachers would do instead.
Q. Your most dangerous moment?
A. On my second day working for Greenpeace in the Mediterranean Sea monitoring Turkish Blue fin Tuna fishermen. The ship I was on was there to monitor the fishing fleet, but they had other ideas and attacked us. We were pelleted with lead weights which smashed up the ship’s helicopter and cracked windows. Luckily no GP crew were hit, but they were not nice people.
Q. Your proudest moment?
Q. What are you most ashamed of?
A. I’m not letting that get out to the public!
Q. I hear you don’t like giving animals names. Why not?
A. The animal doesn’t know it’s called Kevin, or whatever. It’s a wild animal and all it actually wants to do is be free so it can kill stuff, eat and have sex. It doesn’t care what people call it. Anthropomorphism, which naming an animal is, actually makes humans respect animals less not more.
Q. OK so has any animal stolen your heart?
A. Yes an old female Javan gibbon who was in a failing zoo in Indonesia. I stopped by her cage and we looked at each other. I asked if she was OK (which she obviously wasn’t) and she held out her hand and I took it. I chatted to her, she just sat and held on a looked at me. That moment melted me and I cannot think about it without a squeeze forming in my throat and a tear in my eye.