Episode 8: On the Lookout for Lizards

Dominic Monaghan reflects on low food supplies and close encounters with snakes on his journey through the jungles of Guatemala.

BBCAmerica.com: What challenges did you face searching for the Guatemalan beaded lizard?
Dominic Monaghan:
Staying happy, healthy and able to work with the poor food that was available in the area was a real challenge. We were working in a very remote part if the country. I survived on bananas and Gatorade. The crew ate awful fried chicken and plantains.

What was the most exciting part of your trip to Guatemala?
I found a highly venomous coral snake in Guatemala. It was extremely sketchy to handle due to its small size and slightly oily exterior. I had a few moments of high concentration where time seemed to slow down. Scary. Great fun!

‘Wild’ Director of Photography, Frank Vilaca, talks thin air and rattlesnake threats on the search for the beaded lizard.

BBCAmerica.com: What were some memorable moments from your trip to Guatemala?
Frank Vilaca: The Guatemalan beaded lizard was a very cool find in the rainforest. Looking for the reptile at 10,000 feet in the mountains was a challenge with the altitude change. Everything went a little bit slower with the steep slopes and shortness of breath from the thin air. We came across two rattlesnakes during this episode – one was very chilled out and the other so snarly and agitated that it was a really dangerous snake to approach. It was very interesting to see the difference in personality between the snakes. Every once in a while I was asked to chase a creature with my camera – on this trip it was the fastest lizard in the world. Watch the show – pure comedy! Dom was blessed by a local Inca priest and covered in honey, beer and flour in the process, which was quite funny. While traveling, I always find the cultural traditions to be the most fascinating part of the journey.

BBC America