By Dom Smith
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Videographer / director: Lizzie Daly
Filmmaker: Gareth Reynolds
Producer: Dom Smith, Ruby Coote
Editor: Thom Johnson
26-year-old Lizzie Daly, has studied wildlife all over the world.
In the pilot episode of Barcroft TV’s new wildlife series, Beastly Encounters, Lizzie travels to the Bahamas, exploring how our relationship with the world’s most deadly sharks is changing.
She travels to the islands of Bimini, where there is 650,000 square kilometres of protected waters and a shark sanctuary created in 2011.
As a result of these measures, Lizzie can see that the sharks have “taken over”, and begins her journey by going cage diving with bull sharks.
Before the dive, Lizzie told Barcroft TV: “I can’t wait to see them in action. This will be my first time in the water with them.”
With only a cage between her and the swarm of sharks being fed, Lizzie can take a good look at the creatures.
For some, these are considered to be the most dangerous shark species in the world - they have even been known to headbutt their prey before attacking.
During the dive, Lizzie spots a hook in one of the creature’s mouths, a reminder of the impact that fishing can have on marine life in the area.
Afterwards Lizzie said: “It was incredible, if I could, I would do that every day.”
She then goes to the island of Grand Bahama to dive with ‘shark whisperer’, Christina Zenato, who has dedicated her life to conservation and has dived with sharks for decades.
Christina feeds and strokes a huge group of sharks as they swim by her, showing a clear affinity with them.
Lizzie said: “I can see why Christina is known as the sharkwhisperer.
“I have never seen anything like this in my life. Not a day that I’ll be forgetting anytime soon.”
The next stage of Lizzie’s journey was to go diving with great hammerhead sharks, swimming among the largest group of their species that there is.
Giant hammerheads are usually difficult to find, as they are increasingly rare and solitary animals.
But after a jump into the water, Lizzie captures a look at the illusive creature through a sea of nurse sharks.
She was only equipped underwater with a short pole to let the sharks know not to come too close.
Afterwards Lizzie said: “That was an unbelievable sight.
“The experience of being in the water with these huge creatures is hard to describe.”
The giant hammerhead shark is listed as endangered, due to a number of issues including the fishing industry and their numbers have decreased by 80% in the last 25 years.
Lizzie continued: “I learnt so much being in the Bahamas, from the research underpinning their protection, to the inspiring people who work with these incredible predators.
“I’ve loved being able to get so close to these truly majestic and misunderstood predators.
“Unquestionably we should be doing everything we can to protect these awe-inspiring creatures.”