Bites at Animal Planet

Behind the Scenes

19 Mar

Dig Deeper Into Ice Cold Gold With Interactive Episode Journals


Before you tune into Ice Cold Gold tonight at 10/9c, be sure to check out our new interactive episode journals, cataloging the journeys of Sixty Degrees Resources this season. 

Not only do these episode journals follow the journey, they also grant you access to exclusive new content. Ranging from time lapses capturing the serene beauty of Greenland, to videos capturing behind-the-scenes moments from the show. This exclusive content will feature items we couldn't show you on air.


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11 Mar

Co-Creator of the 'Simpsons,' Sam Simon, Passes Away; Sea Shepherd Team Remembers His Contributions


Sam Simon, co-creator of the Simpsons, vowed to give away his entire fortune to charity after being diagnosed with colon cancer in 2012.

He died Sunday, March 8, having kept his word, donating incalculable amounts of money to various organizations: PETA, Save the Children, Mercy for Animals, the Sam Simon Foundation, and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

His Sea Shepherd contribution hits home here at Animal Planet, funding one of the vessels featured on Whale Wars.

In 2012, Simon donated money to Sea Shepherd to purchase the fourth ship in its fleet, which was proudly named after the long time animal rights activist and television executive. The Sam Simon joined the Bob BarkerSteve Irwin, and Brigitte Bardot. 

Samsimon one

The Sam Simon, and the three others in its fleet, plan to carry out the organization's mission: "to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species," and confront the illegal whaling activities of the Japanese whaling fleet.

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6 Mar

Laissez le Bon Temps Rouler! Inside This Baton Rouge Treehouse

Contributed by Tory Jones

Get an in-depth look at how the beautiful designs inside these treehouse masterpieces come together with Treehouse Masters' own Tory Jones. Find out more about the Triple Decker Record Setter inside this blog post!


I arrived in Cajun Country during Mardi Gras this year and Pete and team at NT&S had created one of the largest and most spread out tree house we’ve ever done for Baton Rouge, LA, dream clients Gwen and Todd Graves.

In massive old oaks overlooking their property sits a multi-level dream clubhouse. I was lucky to find Red Door Interiors, where I met owner Erin DeBosier and the delightful Melissa Laney who worked with me to outfit the spaces. The first level is a living room and bar with bathroom.  I filled the space with a large and oh-so-comfortable sectional couch; a tree stump coffee table in copper centered the room and was complemented with a velvet swivel chair and teak slab bar stools.  The lighting was supplied by Kichler and most impressive was the copper linear chandelier over the bar.


A large outdoor entertaining space sits outside of the double set of French doors.  I placed a large round table and an outdoor chandelier that was fabricated from salvaged iron sculpture parts that was then finished and wired by local artist Robbie Turner from Old South lighting and iron works. Adding warmth to the deck was a cooper-clad outdoor grill in a new design from our Kentucky friend Brion at Barnwell Chimney. For a quick exit out, there was a wooden slide built by our own Dustin Pulliam, build producer.

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6 Mar

Behind the Scenes: Design Details from the Mountain Lodge Oasis

 Contributed by Celeste Gruenstein of Décor Direct-Sarasota, FL


With the homeowners' love of skiing, we went with a ski lodge theme for the Martin's backyard.  Set out in the country, this home provided wide open treed vistas which we accented with lodge style furnishings.  We used Decor Direct's line of reclaimed furniture for a rugged western feel for both dining and seating areas.  For dining, a round dining table made from a re-purposed antique wagon wheel turned on its side to form the top of the table, and attached with yokes that used to straddle the necks of yaks to the salvaged old teak mortar table base.  (and yes the mortar is also approximately 100 years old, and was once was used to mash herbs and spices!)   Matching heavy reclaimed timber chairs complete the look. Uber cool and hardy!   

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3 Mar

Go on a Virtual Safari to Celebrate World Wildlife Day

At Animal Planet, there’s something wild inside us all. A sort of primal yearning that drives us to connect with the natural world. For many of us that means sharing our homes with “wild things” like Mr. Pouncy Pants, Rover or Nemo. Others develop and create inspiring animal content, volunteer at wildlife rehabilitation centers, lobby for better animal welfare laws and promote animal adoption. We all have different ways of expressing our appreciation for the wild world we love so much. 

 In celebration of World Wildlife Day, go on a virtual safari to the Okavango Delta with one of our employees . . . and get in touch with your inner wild.   



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27 Feb

Behind the Scenes: Design Details from Pankiw's Paradise

 Contributed by Celeste Gruenstein of Décor Direct-Sarasota, FL


The Pankiws, with backgrounds in building and construction, naturally have a love of wood.  So we used Decor Direct's line of natural sustainable tree slabs for their “Insane Pool” build.  Rather than linear pieces, we chose reclaimed felled tree slabs in organic shapes with live edge finishes.  These blend harmoniously with the natural elements of stone, marble and boulders in the pool and bar area construction. With one of our custom thick sustainable slab tables for dining, the Pankiws can enjoy poolside dining in stylish fashion.  


One of our mission statements at Decor Direct is that every piece has function and artistic qualities, so for a seating area off the Pankiw's bedroom, we showcased a coffee table that is functional art.  This super thick irregularly shaped reclaimed slab coffee table has a fresh vibe with metallic bullet style legs.  We continued the slab theme, with “art” in the form of a 6 foot tall slice of a reclaimed/re-purposed  tree mounted on a pedestal.   The result: a classic Decor Direct organic yet contemporized style for the pool area that builds on the natural elements of the pool area, yet retains an open vista to the wonders of the bay-front setting.

Watch Insane Pools every Friday at 9/8c!

27 Feb

Frank's Creative Audio-Visual Results at Pankiw's Paradise

Contributed by Frank Giuffre


With limited space in the new outdoor kitchen/bar area, Lucas gave me the challenge of where to place a TV and Terry’s beloved “Dock & Bar” sign. By building a custom enclosure that motorized up to reveal the TV, I was able to locate the TV and bar sign in the same spot. The enclosure also provided protection for the TV in its outdoor environment.

The lack of the typical lush Lucas Lagoons landscaping in this minimalistic design provided problems for speaker locations for me. Satellite speakers were mounted high up near the soffits while the burial subwoofer was installed in the sole landscape bed of the entire project.

20 Feb

Ahoy Matey! A Behind-the-Scenes Look at a Pirate-Themed Treehouse

Contributed by Tory Jones

Get an in-depth look at how the beautiful designs inside these treehouse masterpieces come together with Treehouse Masters' own Tory Jones. Find out more about the Sky High Pirate Hideaway inside this blog post!


Land Ahoy!

The gang returned to the Seattle area to create a pirate-worthy treasure tree house for clients Kelly and Stephanie Fahey.  They had purchased property in Edmonds, Wash., that they hoped to build their dream house on, but the first dream to check off the list was a tree house by Pete Nelson.

As Seattle locals they love the outdoors and spend much time outdoors with their kids hiking and exploring and had created a treasure map on the one first hike on the property and buried hidden treasure on the site where the tree house now stands.

The design called for the interior to be fort-like and slightly unfinished looking so the floors were heated from underneath and the insulation was placed on the outside under the wood sheathing, so we brought in Tracy Wade and her team to paint the plywood interior a silvery gray.  Tracy is a decorative painter and came up with the perfect formula.


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20 Feb

Behind the Scenes: Design Details from the First Episode of Insane Pools

Contributed by Celeste Gruenstein of Décor Direct-Sarasota, FL


The homeowners David and Cathy McCabe have been customers of Decor Direct for more than 15 years and wanted to add to their existing collection of rustic reclaimed teakwood outdoor furniture.  So, this was an easy build to design!

For their idyllic bayside backyard on Siesta Key, we chose a reclaimed teak swing constructed from old carts, with a reclaimed teak shake roof.  We perched this right by the seawall so the McCabe's can have a spot to sit and wind down at sunset, and enjoy watching the osprey and pelicans dive into Sarasota Bay. 


Since Cathy & David have backgrounds in marine biology, and the build was inspired by their desire for a koi pond, we used a fish motif in the accents.  The McCabe's can enjoy a sitting area by the pool and waterfall, in a unique stylized bench we have fashioned from old reclaimed wagon wheels.  The  backrest even features a fanciful fish!  A wall hanging of swimming koi carved out of a reclaimed wooden panel adds more marine mania. 


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20 Feb

Meet Frank Giuffre: Audio Video Specialist on Insane Pools

FrankAudio Video integrator Frank Giuffre has an undeniable love of technology that started at a young age with his father's company in his hometown of Staten Island, New York.  Frank started "working" with his father at thirteen soldering cables in their garage.  

Frank always knew he would run his own A/V Company. That became a reality when he moved to Sarasota, Florida.  In eight short years his company Coastal Audio Video has grown into a successful business which specializes in the sales and installation of high-end A/V entertainment systems in private residences.

Florida gave Frank something New York could not, year round sunshine and the desire for an outdoor lifestyle.  Incorporating technology into outdoor living spaces has become his passion.  With his expertise in the field, he provides his customers with the ability to automate their outdoor space including music, lighting, water features, televisions, virtually anything.

With evolving technology every job is a new and exciting challenge.



The installation of a 12" 500 watt burial subwoofer was strategically located in between the koi pond and swimming pool. Although this low lying sub disappears into the landscape it's presence is felt when the music comes on.

These 6" 70 Volt satellite speakers were installed in the landscape to provide high quality distributed sound throughout the outdoor living space.

A wall mounted equipment rack resides in the pool house. This rack is home for the amplification, networking and automation that makes this yard come to life.

Watch a new episode of Insane Pools every Friday at 9/8c!

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