08/12/2011 AT 9:00 AM ET
Hanging out with a golden eagle perched on his arm is just in another day’s work for adventurer Steve Backshall, who prefers interaction with fierce predators over cuddling with puppies and kittens.
“My Deadly 60 program is all about animals that are superb at catching their food,” he tells PEOPLE of his new Nat Geo Wild show, in which he travels the globe tracking the world’s greatest predators. “It’s not about animals that are deadly to us.”
“Something like a golden eagle,” Backshall continues, pointing out his feathery friend, “poses no threat whatsoever to humans, but to its prey, is absolutely lethal. That’s the perfect example of the kinds of animals we try to find on the series.”