Animal Planet's Fatal Attractions Returns with Powerful New Tales of Obsessive and All-Consuming Deadly Love
--Five New Episodes of Ill-fated Love Stories Premiere Friday, October 8th -
SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 17 -- You remember the headlines: "Tiger in Harlem; Animal Keeper Mauled. It was shocking. Wild animals are kept as pets and hidden in plain sight right in the middle of New York City. Antoine Yates had brought a pair of tiger and lion cubs to share his tiny Harlem apartment. Antoine secluded himself among his "pets" in his home, which he saw as an Eden for wild animals and a safe haven for himself - never recognizing his situation as dangerous and never suspecting that his haven away from the violence on the streets could actually be just the last place he'd ever see. Antoine's beloved 500-pound tiger, Ming, nearly killed him, but he has no regrets. In fact, he hopes that one day he and his attacker will be reunited. "I want to bring Ming back and rekindle our relationship," said Antoine. "I think about him always, but I try to remain strong."
This Fall, Animal Planet's highest-rated new series among females in 2010 - FATAL ATTRACTIONS - returns with five more star-crossed love stories with bite and conviction. Beginning Friday, October 8, at 9 PM ET/PT, Animal Planet shares with viewers cautionary tales of people who choose to live with wild, exotic animals despite the often deadly consequences. The premiere episode, A Tiger Loose in Harlem, is the first of the five astounding episodes where real-life situations can seem like urban legends. But Animal Planet reveals that the stories told in FATAL ATTRACTIONS are not as rare or far-fetched as we'd like to believe.
"Each story in this series is like a fable with a powerful moral," says Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet. "Except fables are deliberate fabrications meant to evoke meaningful lessons. In FATAL ATTRACTIONS, every story is real and gripping as we delve into the passions and the psychology that drive these deadly animal obsessions."
Stories this Fall chronicle legendary-but-true narratives about men and women who fearlessly share their hearts and homes with animals most of us wouldn't dare get near for even a moment, including venomous reptiles, deadly big cats, bears, wolves and even bulls.
Vietnam veteran Karl Mitchell was a professional exotic wild animal trainer for years before he blurred the line between his work and home life. No longer compartmentalizing his relationships with animals as "his job," Karl began interacting with his tigers on an intensely personal level. "They're deadly, yes," admitted Karl about his tigers. "But they keep me going." Karl served in the Vietnam War and has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His tigers, he claims, help ground him by relieving the anxiety he carries over from combat.
Seventy-four-year-old Donna Munson was not so lucky. For most of her adult life, she surrounded herself with animals - from domestic strays to all sorts of wildlife - including the black bears, which Donna considered non-threatening "pets" that came around her house frequently and which she loved and fed. Her property showed the physical toll of keeping bears in close proximity; claw marks adorned the windows and walls of Donna's house, and busted windows and scratched doors were telltale signs on Donna's car. Donna's life - filled with the need to be around everything wild - came to a likely end when she put her fate in between an adult bear and a cub.
"When you're dealing with wild animals, you have to be ready for the worst case which will likely happen at some point," says Animal Planet's large predator expert Dave Salmoni. "Wild animals are exactly that - wild; they are born with an instinct to attack, kill and stay alive, despite how much love they might get from humans. These people feel lucky to have an emotional bond with a dangerous animal, but it's only a matter of time until their luck runs out."
FATAL ATTRACTIONS is produced for Animal Planet by Oxford Scientific Films. Series producer and director for Oxford Scientific Films is Nigel Levy; executive producer for Oxford Scientific Films is Caroline Hawkins; Clare Birks is CEO for Oxford Scientific Films. Erin Wanner is executive producer for Animal Planet. Vice President of Development for Animal Planet is Charlie Foley.
Animal Planet Media (APM), a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the world's only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information and enrichment. APM consists of the Animal Planet television network, available in more than 96 million homes in the US; online assets www.animalplanet.com, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; the 24/7 broadband channel, Animal Planet Beyond; Petfinder.com, the #1 pet-related Web property globally that facilitates pet adoption; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service; mobile content; and merchandising extensions.