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Series / Swamp Wars

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Swamp Wars is a 2012 documentary series on Animal Planet.

The series takes place in Miami, Florida and follows a team of fire department members as they catch and relocate wild animals (Often invasive species such as pythons, or venomous reptiles such as rattlesnakes) from people's property. Often, these episodes feature horror stories of someone getting mauled/killed by whatever species of reptile they're trying to capture at the moment.


Tropes found in Swamp Wars

  • The Big Guy: Chuck Seifert, aka "Big Country", is one of the few members of the Venom One team with the size and strength to physically manhandle a large python without help (most of the time, at least).
  • Gorn: Some episodes have shown images of gruesome injuries suffered by people attacked by the various animals on the show, such as fingertips bitten off by tegu lizards, and snakebite victims having the skin on a bitten limb swollen to the point the skin splits.
  • Manipulative Editing: This show goes above and beyond to make reptiles seem like shifty-eyed monsters ready to pounce at any moment. The most common ways it does this is to put a lot of emphasis on the more "dangerous" aspects of said reptiles, use monochrome coloring and extreme close ups, unnerving music, and making it look like said reptile is stalking some poor innocent child/pet.
    • One infamous example involved a member of the Miami rescue team claiming iguanas are dangerous. It should be noted that, while an iguana's whip-like tail can leave a nasty cut (sometimes requiring stitches), they are actually quite harmless (Being relatively docile herbivores and making good pets).
      • This goes so far as to tell an anecdote about a man who was badly injured after trying to rescue a stuck iguana. Said iguana was most likely in a state of panic explaining its unusually aggressive behavior. The show tries to pass it of as if iguanas lash out at anything in sight.
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  • Media Scaremongering: A lot of emphasis goes towards the more dangerous aspects of reptiles. While this makes sense regarding deadly reptiles such as alligators, venomous snakes, and pythons, the show goes out of its way to make harmless reptiles seem like serious threats to pets and children (Yes, a boa's bite is painful, but it's not deadly).
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Unfortunately, this show paints reptiles as shifty cold-blooded (pun not intended) killers. A lot of emphasis is put on the various ways reptiles can kill you rather than them being just animals trying to survive. It's a bit understandable with the invasive species, but with the native ones it goes straight up into Narm territory.
  • Road Trip: One episode had Chuck Seifert and Ernie Jilland take a trip to Costa Rica to search for various exotic venomous snakes.
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  • Scary Stinging Swarm: Several episodes have shown Africanized "killer" bees; one episode had them invading the interior of a house in a retirement community.