Joel Lambert pictured in South Africa for the TV series Predators Up Close.
Joel Lambert pictured in South Africa for the TV series Predators Up Close. Ilan Godfrey

Former US Navy SEAL takes on sharks and other predators

JOEL Lambert lowers his position on the food chain in his new nature series.

The former US Navy SEAL and BUD/S instructor comes face to tooth with a range of animals to see what he can learn from their perfectly evolved hunting techniques in Predators Up Close.

To protect him from harm while allowing him to closely observe everything from lions to polar bears, Lambert used a specially designed field pod.

"The pod is designed to be a portable human zoo," Lambert tells APN.

"It's custom-built out of aluminium and Plexiglass and we had to transport this thing around the globe. The whole point is just to put us in their environment so the animals can behave the way they behave; they are in charge. We are protected but we're in their turf."

The pod also allowed Lambert and scientists to carry out experiments.

 "It had to be substantial but light and open enough for our scent to come through and for us to be able to observe," he says.

"We carried out real, applicable research on these animals. It wasn't just for TV."

Despite many hours spent underwater as a US Navy SEAL, Lambert comes face to face with a great white shark for the first time in the show's first episode.

"At night during those long transit dives where you can't see anything, your mind goes and you start thinking about sharks in the water," he says.

"But then to actually get in the water and see these sharks... it was thrilling, very visceral. I was able to reach outside the pod to touch their pectoral fins."

If the show is renewed, Lambert is keen to travel to Australia to film an episode.

 "Australia is the capitol of the globe in horrible things that will kill you," he says.

"I think that's a given we'd be down there for the crocs."

Predators Up Close with Joel Lambert debuts tonight at 6.30pm Qld, 7.30pm NSW on the Discovery Channel.