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Dreaming of the Deep: the Life of Manny Puig (Video)

Dreaming of the Deep: the Life of Manny Puig Dreaming of the Deep: the Life of Manny Puig

By: Emanuel Wickenburg

Manny Puig, also known as the ‘Shark Man’, has devoted his entire life to his passion for the Wild.

Growing up in Miami, the Cuban-born Puig spent much of his childhood exploring the endless swamplands of Southern Florida and learning about dangerous predators, which have always fascinated him. He learned to hunt deer at an early age and started hand-catching small American alligators underwater in his teens. Since then, he has graduated to hand-catching thousand-pound alligators, riding and hand-feeding sharks, and interacting at death-defying ranges with grizzly bears, panthers, and rattlesnakes.

Having pursued his passion with tremendous determination for years, spending hours underwater -in situations most men would blanch at- every day, he has acquired more knowledge about the behavior of dangerous predators than many scientists in the field, and unrivalled expertise on handling and interacting with them. After working as an animal handler on movie sets, Puig was able to turn his unique obsession into a successful career as a world-renowned wildlife expert and entertainer in his thirties; he has been featured –among many others- on Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel, and had his own show, Savage Wild, here on Outdoor Channel. Instantly recognizable by his now-silver beard, long hair, and shark-tooth necklace, Puig is also a talented artist and an avid student of history. He spends most of the time that he’s not courting death underwater sculpting animals and hand-crafting medieval weapons, archaic armor, and hunting tools.

Dreaming of the Deep: the Life of Manny Puig is a new documentary about Puig, focusing on his fascinating personality and the mystery of why he chose his unique and seemingly crazy profession. The film features extensive interviews of him and the people closest to him and breathtaking footage of the sixty-year-old Puig doing what he does best, shot by Outdoor Channel just last year. The clip below contains some of that footage, much of it taken deep in the murky waters of the Everglades, teeming with thousand-pound alligators, where Puig feels at home. To see Puig wrestling a gargantuan beast that could bite off his leg at any second if he made a careless mistake is to witness an epic and awe-inspiring struggle between Man and Nature. Something about it awakens a primal instinct deep within us, and shows us, for a brief moment, why Manny Puig has done this all his life.


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