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Bear Grylls recounts near-death experience when snake strangled him underwater

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·2-min read

Watch: Lion chases Bear Grylls while filming Netflix special

Bear Grylls has revealed he had "never been so scared in my life" than when he was dragged underwater by an eight-foot snake while filming his latest show.

The 46-year-old adventurer is the star of an interactive special for Netflix, entitled Animals on the Loose: A You vs. Wild Movie, in which viewers can make decisions during Grylls's expedition.

It was while filming for this special on a game reserve in South Africa that Grylls found himself in the grip of a "dangerous and unpredictable" boa constrictor.

Read more: Grylls suffers life-threatening reaction to bee sting

Grylls told The Sun that even his nearby safety crew were concerned about the stunt, which could very easily go wrong if he was pulled underwater by the reptile.

He said: "I got in, couldn’t touch the bottom, and suddenly I felt that thing grab me and start pulling me down. 

Bear Grylls got up close and personal with a boa constrictor while filming 'Animals on the Loose: A You vs. Wild Movie' in South Africa. (Credit: Duane Howard/Netflix)
Bear Grylls got up close and personal with a boa constrictor while filming 'Animals on the Loose: A You vs. Wild Movie' in South Africa. (Credit: Duane Howard/Netflix)

"Then it got a grip around my neck. It caught me out. I hadn’t anticipated how fast, powerful and heavy it would be."

Grylls said the safety team were giving him the signal that they were about to intervene, but he told them he was okay and could handle the situation — at least initially.

Read more: Cara Delevingne ate dead rat for Bear Grylls show

He added: "Just as it was squeezing me tighter, I thought: ‘Oh no, actually I’m running out of breath here’. 

"It was terrifying and very intense. I’ve never been so scared in my life. But like all these things, they happen fast and they don’t last very long. I managed to break free.

“I look back on the many times in my life when I really should have died. I feel incredibly lucky to have survived.”

'Animals on the Loose: A You vs. Wild Movie'. (Credit: Netflix)
'Animals on the Loose: A You vs. Wild Movie'. (Credit: Netflix)

Grylls is the Chief Scout, as well as one of the most recognisable presenters of adventure programmes in the UK.

He said he has even been "approached to play James Bond by a few people I can’t name" and said he feels "privileged" to have been attached in any way to such an iconic character.

Read more: Grylls gives his take on Welsh setting for I'm a Celebrity

Grylls lives with his family on their own island off the coast of Wales.

He is currently working on two-part ITV special Bear Grylls Wild Adventure, alongside England rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson and boxer Nicola Adams.

Animals on the Loose: A You vs. Wild Movie is available to stream now via Netflix.

Watch: Leech latches on to Bear Grylls