Animal Planet, Discovery to air Steve Irwin's final film next year

MUMBAI: Earlier this year animal lovers bemoan premature loss of animal expert and conservationist Steve Irwin who used to host shows on Animal Planet and was known as "The Crocodile Hunter."

On 21 January, 2007 US fans can both reflect on Irwin's legacy with the Steve Irwin Tribute and also check out his last television project, Ocean's Deadliest. The two-hour television event will be broadcast simultaneously on The Discovery Channel and Animal Planet in the US.

Discovery US president Billy Campbell says, "Steve has been such an con for our entire family of networks, including Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel.

This exclusive evening of programming on both networks will honour both his past accomplishments and his continued dream of showcasing the wildlife kingdom in order to preserve it."

In Ocean's Deadliest lurking only a few feet below the surface of eastern Australia's crystalline ocean are some of the most dangerous animals on the planet. For thousands of years, venomous snakes, salt-water crocodiles and immense sharks have patrolled these waters. Now in the hope of studying nature's most dangerous creations, two adventurers embark on an epic mission that requires leadership of an experienced, knowledgeable and fearless crew.

The late Irwin is joined by oceanographer and adventurer Philippe Cousteau, grandson of the famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau as they explore the waters between Australia's Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef.

Throughout this expedition, Philippe and Steve come face to face with venomous fish, huge great white sharks and amazing saltwater crocodiles as they search for the region's most dangerous animal. Along the way, they will meet the scientific experts who work with these creatures on a regular basis, learning the reason why they have evolved with such dangerous defenses and also learning that in truth, they fill a role in the overall ecosystem that is vital and cannot be overlooked.

Their adventure features moments, including subduing a giant croc in order to attach a satellite tracking device; observing the feeding behaviour of the great white shark while safely tucked away inside a dive cage; and working with the Australian experts who capture deadly sea snakes in order to supply anti-venom to the rest of the world.

Cousteau, who was aboard Croc One with Irwin during the expedition when he was struck and killed by a stingray, narrates the 90- minute documentary.

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