Japanese Giant Salamander CAUGHT!

– [Coyote] Right here. Right here, we got one, got one. – You got one?
– Yeah, yeah, look at this. All right Dr. Okada,
move in for the catch. (fast drum music) (growling) A thick cloud of lores
hung for centuries, over the densely forested
mountains of Japan. Stories that spoke of
creatures living and lurking within the shadows of the trees, and deep beneath
its flowing rivers. Yet, as is often
the case with lore, and its tendency to be
passed from storyteller to storyteller, the truth
behind the tale is often skewed, and quite frequently
misunderstood. The Tottori Prefecture
proudly hales as being one of the
most remote stretches of wilderness in all of Japan. Breathtaking is the beauty
that defines this wild place. And, we are honored to step
foot on these sacred grounds. Today the Brave
Wilderness team and I will be breaking
trail for an adventure unlike any we have
embarked upon before. As we join the world’s
leading authority in Japanese Giant Salamander
research and conservation, Dr. Sumio Okada, also
know as Okada Sensei. For over two
decades, Okada Sensei has been tirelessly
working to protect these fragile amphibians. Whose breeding grounds are
under the constant threat of habitat degradation
due to the building of dams, and embankment
protection walls. The Japanese Giant Salamander is the second largest
amphibian in the world. And, is considered
a living fossil. As their biology has barely
changed in millions of years. This, along with
their cryptic nature, has shrouded them in
a cloak of mystery. And, you will soon
understand why they have been revered
as river dragons. Wow, you can feel the energy
in the air within this forest. It is ancient, and the
animals that live here, these Japanese
Giant Salamanders, are about as
prehistoric as it gets. And, I’ll tell ya what guys,
the salamanders are out there. So, as we get closer to sunset, we’re gonna gear up
and head out at night. As you know, these
amphibians are nocturnal, so our best chance
of coming across them will be under the
cover of darkness. Finding river dragons
is not impossible under the light of
day, yet it’s their nocturnal feeding
habits that make them much more likely to emerge
from their dens at night. All right guys, well
this is the spot. Dr. Okada says this is where
we’re getting into the river, we’re gonna head upstream, and hopefully find
some giant salamanders. All right, lead the way. With Okada Sensei
leading us forward, the glow of our flashlight
beams cut through the darkness, and the search for
salamanders was underway. In nearly every
episode featured on the Brave Wilderness
channel, I’ve been the one who’s expected to safely
catch our target species. Yet, with the giant salamander,
that will not be the case. Due to their vulnerable
status, and cultural importance to the Japanese people,
these amphibians are considered a special
national monument by the Japanese government. Strict laws and licensing
means only Okada Sensei, and other licensed
researchers, are able to catch and handle giant
salamanders in the wild. My job will be to spot and
assist in recording data, if one is found. I’ll tell you what guys,
you wander away from the rest of the group, and
just spread out by yourself searching, and I just can
imagine what it would be like hundreds of years ago to
come across one of these creatures for the first time. You can certainly see
where all of the lore and the myth would’ve come from. These incredible,
enormous river dragons, just out here in the darkness, hunting amongst the current. Ah, it’s exciting
to be out here. And, hopefully we’re
gonna find a big one. Even with waders
keeping our clothes dry, the chill of the water
was enough to send consistent shivers
down our spines. Yet, the thrill of the search, and the hope of
encountering a true giant, kept us all fighting forward. Then suddenly, as if manifested
from silt and shadow, there in the ripple of
broken fragments of light, the silhouette of a
dragon materialized. Something right
here, right here. Right here, we got one, got one. – You got one?
– Yeah, yeah, look at this. Wow, okay. Look at that, perfect
ambush behavior right there. Just waiting, down
current, with it’s head pointed in towards the
middle of the river. Now, if a fish or
a crab comes by, it’s capable of just
(gulping) gulping it straight down into its gullet. Now, if I can take just a
minute before we catch it, what I wanna do is
actually just slink down in the water with the
GoPro on a little light. Let’s go ahead and drop
those lights down lower. Is that okay for your camera? – Yeah, that’d be fine.
– Okay, let’s try that. And, I wanna see if I
can get some shots of it just naturally, right
there in its environment. (dramatic music) This is great, all right, it’s just holding
its ground right now. It definitely can
sense that we are here. And, I’m able to get
right up close to it. Ah, that is so cool. Wow! – [Mark] That’s a good one. – That is a good
size salamander. What an ancient
looking creature. All right Dr. Okada,
move in for the catch. Yes! Man, I got a pretty
awesome shot right there. – [Mark] You got it? – Got it.
– Whoa. Man they can be quick. – Wow, look at that. Completely fills the
inside of the net. Each salamander is unique,
and we have to collect the biometric data for
every one that we find. So, let’s get it up
here on shore, and. – Shore. – Get what we need. All right guys, now
before we collect the biometric data
of the salamander, what I wanna do, because
this one is so big, is place it inside
of this container so we can take an up close look
at its really cool features. Now, this will allow you
guys to get a better look, and of course, us the
opportunity to admire it. All right, let’s go ahead and
get the salamander in there. Oh, this is gonna be cool. You guys got good shots? – Yup.
– Here we go. Wow! The Japanese Giant Salamander. Have you ever seen an
amphibian of that size? It’s so big it almost
doesn’t fit in the container. Now, notice the shape of
this salamander’s head. It’s wedge shaped,
it’s big, it’s flat. That allows them to cut
through the current, and certainly wedge
themselves underneath rocks where, of course,
they build their dens. And, what’s very distinct
about this salamander, compared to the
Hellbender, is look at all these fleshy little
nodules on the head. We didn’t see that
with the Hellbender. And, I’m guessing, and Dr.
Okada correct me if I’m wrong, those are sensory organs, right? – [Dr. Okada] Um hm. – To help them feel around
in their environment, sense chemicals,
’cause as you can see, they have very small
eyes, very poor eyesight. So, they primarily rely on
their chemical receptors to help them navigate
their environment. Now, as you move your
way down the length of the amphibian’s body, you’ll
notice these flaps of skin. Right? It looks very wrinkly. Those flaps are actually
capable of helping them exchange gasses
within the water. Basically, this is a
way for them to breathe when they are
completely submerged. As we know, a lot of amphibians
absorb their environment, or absorb oxygen in
through their skin. And, the Japanese Giant
Salamander’s a perfect example of an amphibian that
uses its skin to breathe. Now, you’ll notice
the length between the front legs and the rear legs has quite a noticeable
spread, right. That allows them to keep
their body really low and squat to the
basin of the river. Now, each one of these arms,
and of course the legs, are very short and stumpy. But, they are armed with little
pads on their fingertips. They have four fingers up
front, five fingers in the back. And, those little nuptial
pads, they are almost peach in coloration, allow them to
grip to the basin of the river. Dr. Okada, can we take a look
at the salamander’s toes? Let’s show those
little nuptial pads. Maybe on the back foot here. If you can just sort
of lean that foot up for Mario’s camera there. See if we can look
at those pads. You guys see that? – Oh yeah.
– Go ahead and zoom in there. Now, you’ll notice
that the feet are not really webbed
like a frog, right. There’s a little bit of
webbing it looks like at the, just where the toes
connect to the foot. But, those pads are
really what they rely on to help them move
through the environment. They can pretty
much lock in place no matter how
powerful the current. I notice that there’s
like a little divot, a couple divots in the
tail, is that where maybe something tried
to eat it or bite it? – [Dr. Okada] Yeah, bitten. Or something hit against stone. – Okay, so maybe a potential
predator bit at this. Of course, males will
also fight with each other to protect breeding territories. Or, of course, as
we know, the male Japanese Giant Salamander
is oftentimes considered the den master, they look after the eggs and after the larvae. So, of course, this
salamander would be defending its young
if something tried to come in and
consume the babies. Now, it’s really cool,
is that when we walked up on this salamander, it was
in the process of hunting. And, to me, that’s one of
the most impressive features of this creature,
is the fact that it will lay and wait
in an ambush position, and then they have
that enormous mouth. It, their jaw spread
all the way far back, so they can just (gulping)
gulp something up straight outta the water. Whether it’s a crawfish
or crab, a frog, or sometimes they will
even eat other salamanders. So, in a sense, this amphibian
can be cannibalistic, if it’s a smaller
Japanese Giant Salamander, it stands the chance
of becoming a meal. All right, well I would
say, at this point we’re probably ready to
collect the biometric data. – Um hm. – So, what we’re
gonna do now is, we’re gonna bring in
the measuring tube here. And, Dr. Okada is going
to pick the salamander up, we’re gonna put it in there, and collect this
important research. The same protocol is followed
for each and every salamander. As the length is
carefully recorded, the weight is
accurately checked, and the slippery
amphibian is scanned to determine whether or not
it was previously tagged. This gently giant was
already in the record books. So, it’s biometrics
will be updated. And, the good news is that
it appears healthy and happy. Further conformation that
this remote population, for now, is
continuing to thrive. Well, we have collected
all of the necessary biometric data, and
it is time to release the salamander
back into the wild. Dr. Okada, thank you so much for leading this
expedition tonight. How awesome was this guys? Heading into the
back country of Japan to get up close with
the one and only Japanese Giant Salamander. I’m Coyote Peterson. Be brave, stay wild. We’ll see ya on
the next adventure. All right, back
down to the river. For millions of years,
these mysterious creatures lived and thrived within
these ancient waters. The legends of
countless stories, and the keepers of
the river’s spirit. Yet, in less than a century,
the realm of river dragons has nearly been wiped out. The future of the
Japanese Giant Salamander is unknown, and
sadly, the probability of it becoming extinct
is a very real threat, due to the negative
effects of human activity. If the nesting sites of
these beautiful amphibians continue to be destroyed
with the building of dams, and embankment protection walls, their fate is all but
written in the concrete that has yet to poured. For Okada Sensei, the fight
to educate the public, and protect the giants
in their habitats that do still remain,
is never ending. Yet, hope shines
brightly, as the work he so passionately enjoys,
is already being passed down, and honored by his
son with open arms and smiles of excitement. If you would like
to make a difference in protecting the
Japanese Giant Salamander, and also dream of seeing
these beautiful animals in the wild for yourself,
make sure to visit the website that is
helping to ensure that there’s a future in
the realm of river dragons. If you thought this giant
salamander was fascinating, make sure to go back
and watch the episode where we got its
North American cousin, the Hellbender, up
close for the cameras. And, don’t forget, subscribe, and click the notification bell, so you can join me and the crew on our next wild adventure. (roaring)

100 thoughts on “Japanese Giant Salamander CAUGHT!

  1. Giant salamanders….
    Fukishima radiation mutation….
    2:05 "You can feel the energy in the air!"
    Godzilla next year in Japan 🇯🇵

  2. I love these videos, but the one thing that bothers me is the tone of voice and inflection he uses during the narration at the start. He does it in EVERY video too.

  3. Man these little black with yellow spot salamander are some creepy critters around here,creepy creepy. This monster would make me stay out of room or building for sure.

  4. Ok first of look at his tiny toes I am dying a slow and painful death of cuteness and go look at daily bumps and and meet up with Ollie

  5. I love how respectful he is of different creatures. It is just so mesmerizing because anyone like him would probably love to even hold one of these majestic salamanders.

  6. I honestly think that brave wilderness sould have more then t series and pewdiepie becasue it's like a TV series even though he has episodes of himself and other

  7. I`m heading to the salamander research centre on Sunday. It`s about 90 minutes from where I live here in Japan.

  8. Aw it’s so calm throughout the whole process, almost like it knows that it’s respected and won’t be harmed.

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