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Showbiz is not always glitz and glamour, and actor Dominic Monaghan knows it better than most. Best known for his roles as Merry Brandybuck in the Lord of the Rings saga and Charlie Pace on Lost, he’s spent the last couple of years as host of nature show Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan on BBC America. Wild Things has seen him safely interacting with plenty of…well, wild things, but filming got a little bit too wild during a trip to Thailand when Monaghan was bitten by a monitor lizard, and audiences never got to see what happened after. Luckily, Monaghan escaped with little more than a memorable scar and a harrowing tale to tell.
To be totally honest, you don’t have that much time to think. The incident happens and you just think, ‘OK, now it’s hospital and now it’s stitches and now it’s rest and now it’s back in the field.'

Monaghan’s account of his injury to Zap2it is surprisingly calm, all things considered. For any who aren’t up on their reptile knowledge, monitor lizards are definitely not the cute little ones. The critter that took a bloody chunk out of Dominic Monaghan’s arm was four feet long. Frankly, I’d take the orcs and Others over one of those beasts.

Monaghan, however, kept his cool rather admirably for somebody bleeding profusely after being attacked by a lizard in Thailand. According to the actor, the show had to go on, and panicking and passing out just weren’t acceptable options for him.
We’re making TV, so there’s a camera pointing in my face and people are saying, ‘How do you feel? What are we doing now? Where are we going now?’ I think my medic was very smart in trying to keep me conscious, so he kept me focused on making the show. And honestly, we’re not cavalier about it, and I don’t necessarily want to walk around with scars all over my body. But I think the odd scar here and there tells a great story, and the scar I have tells a great story about a very powerful, fast, dynamic creature.

The best kind of medics are indeed the ones that try to keep their bleeding patients conscious, from what I hear. Dominic Monaghan certainly has an upbeat way of looking back at his experience after being bitten by a beast like that. Considering that it was his love of nature that brought him to Wild Things in the first place, his recovery without any lingering regrets is good to see.

Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan has already aired for two seasons and is set to air a third, so we can count on seeing Monaghan back in action among creepies, crawlies, and carnivores from the safety of our lizard-free couches. His explorations into remote areas and the living things around them have been exhilarating from the very beginning. Hopefully for his sake, they’ll be much less bloody in the future.