Lion in the E.R.: A Day with Jeremy Brandt of ‘Jobs That Bite’

ABC News Nightline
Nightline Fix

Imagine your first day on the toughest of jobs, subject to the initiation rites of all rookies.

That's Jeremy Brandt's gig and it's not for the faint of heart or stomach. Matt Gutman of ABC News “Nightline” embedded for a day with Brandt, host of Nat Geo Wild's “Jobs That Bite,” and the team at Lion Country Safari in Florida.

Anacondas in the Amazon, tiger sharks uncaged in shark-infested waters, Gutman has done that. But knocking down the king of the jungle in his lion den ... this is a little intimidating. After a few minutes, “Hiro” stops pacing, leans down, closes his eyes and looks like he’s asleep. This is serious business and sedating Hiro is a long process.

He’s hauled into the examination room. Brandt is hoping this latest job doesn’t bite. He's already tried his luck here before with some success, helping veterinarian Beth Hammond give Sabo a clean bill of health. It's been 10 years since Hiro's last check up which means there's a lot of work to do, little of it glamorous.

On his show, Brandt, a former airline pilot turned professional apprentice, dumps the friendly skies for these decidedly more terrestrial gigs, tagging along with folks who boast some of the most bizarre jobs out there.

“There's tons of stuff that I can't handle, but I try to say yes to anything,” explained Brandt. “I have the fear that comes with knowing what can happen but I'm not stupid. I know what I'm getting into. It comes about trusting the host that you're dealing with. If I see the look in your eye that I'm okay, I trust you.”

And while these jobs may not look glamorous, they are necessary. These professionals keep animals healthy, our grocery stores stocked, and our streets safe.

“I hope that's one of the beauties of the show,” said Brandt. “People can sit there and watch it and think what's Jeremy going to do? I'm doing a procedure with the lion, I'm out here with rhinos, and I have no idea what I'm doing.”