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Zoologist Jack Randall reveals the promise he made to conservationist Steve Irwin

Steve Irwin’s student Jack is on a mission to celebrate some of Australia’s most dangerous and endangered species…

On his 15th birthday Jack Randall made a solemn promise to the late Australian adventurer and conservationist Steve Irwin to protect crocodiles. Now 31, he continues to honour that promise…

In his new six-part series, Jack treks deep into the Australian outback on a mission to get up close and personal with as many remarkable creatures as possible, including snakes, feral camels and, of course, crocodiles!

Steve Irwin

Jack made a promise to Steve Irwin (pic: Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

“It was important for me to have an episode about crocodiles in this series,” explains Jack. “A lot of what I’m doing now I learned from Steve.

“On my 15th birthday he had the perfect present for me – to feed Monty, a 15-foot crocodile! Steve asked me to protect crocodiles for the rest of my life,” remembers Jack. “He looked me deeply and seriously in the eye, and I looked back and said ‘I promise’ and meant it.”

Jack Randall poses with a Water Python

Rather you than us, Jack! Jack poses with a Water Python

The dramatic first episode is all about pythons, with Jack attempting to locate the elusive Oenpelli python, nicknamed ‘The Ghost’ in the remote Northern Territory.

Later in the run we see him meet a mob of wild kangaroos, swim with endangered green turtles, get hands-on with deadly crocodiles and rescue feral camels.

The English-born zoologist explains how his hero fired his curiosity about the natural world. “I was introduced to Steve in Mexico,” he reveals. “It was a dream come true when he asked me to become an apprentice in his reptile department in Australia Zoo at the age of 14.”

MORE: 7 things you didn’t know about Only Fools and Horses star Nicholas Lyndhurst

“There was something about him; he inspired a whole generation of wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists. He definitely sparked a fire in me to work with animals.”

The teenage Jack left his home in England and travelled to the other side of the world to pursue his dream, before studying biological sciences at Oxford University.

He now hopes that his work might encourage the next generation of naturalists out there. “I love that kids might watch this show and be inspired by it,” says Jack. “I want to fight for the animals that people are often frightened of. My ultimate mission is to meet every species, and inspire others to fall in love with them and be moved to protect them and their homes.”

MORE: Our review of Out There With Jack Randall

Out There With Jack Randall premieres on Monday 16th September at 8pm on National Geographic WILD

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