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David Attenborough wannabe gets his wildlife start

LIKE something out of a Japanese film, it was the moment two colossal lizards clashed in battle to assert their dominance over Bribie Island.

By sheer luck, it all unfolded in front of David Attenborough wannabe Ritchie Gilbert and his brother who filmed the entire saga.

Ritchie, who owns Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7, was on a holiday camping trip on the island when he found his Ocean Beach campsite infested by the large lizards.

"We had lace monitors cruising through the camp the whole weekend and, as we were packing up, more started moving in to rule the roost," Ritchie said.

"We ended up with six, but those two squared up.

"They had a stare off and a little tongue lick of each other and all of a sudden they were having a sumo-off."

The video lasts for a minute, but elapsed during a much longer period before one monitor eventually comes crashing down and retreats to the bushes.

"I was loving it. My brother was videoing it on his iPhone and I was trying to sneak behind and lie down behind them like David Attenborough," Ritchie said.

"I was in my element. I have been observing wildlife my whole life and never seen something like that for myself instead of on TV.

"I have seen a lot of things. I've seen carpet pythons take out bats and swallow them and all sorts of stuff, but that'd have to be one of the best things I've ever seen."

Ritchie has been a professional reptile catcher for 14 years, but has recently stepped away from the role to follow his documentary hosting dreams.

He just finished a documentary for UKTV channel Dave and is scheduled to start filming a 10-part around-the-world snake catching series.

"Ever since I could crawl I've been catching them," Ritchie said.

"Reptiles have always been my main fascination and love ever since I was able to go to Africa in 2007.

"I've stepped away from full-time catching to spend more time with the family and do documentaries."


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