News / Arts & Entertainment

Documentary 'Born To Be Wild' Spotlights Orphan Wildlife Projects

As featured in the IMAX® film Born to be Wild 3D, an infant orangutan takes a moment to enjoy the finer things in life. Photo copyright ©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
As featured in the IMAX® film Born to be Wild 3D, an infant orangutan takes a moment to enjoy the finer things in life. Photo copyright ©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Multimedia

Audio
Alan Silverman

A new IMAX film uses 3D technology to take audiences into remote locations on opposite sides of the globe where dedicated teams work to save orphaned wildlife. Here's a look at Born To Be Wild.



"We've shared this planet since the dawn of man, but as our world expands into theirs, more and more wild animals lose their families, and their very existence on Earth is in danger."


With Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman as narrator, Born To Be Wild goes behind the scenes at a unique refuge in Kenya where surviving babies of elephants slain by poachers are rescued, raised and released back into the wild.



"It's been over 50 years since Daphne Sheldrick first adopted orphaned elephants. She has created a safe haven for them at a very special nursery just outside Nairobi," Freeman narrates. "These little orphans have been rescued from all over Kenya. They may look big, but they are just little children."

A rehabilitated orangutan released two years ago by Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas, cradles her wild-born infant in Indonesia's Tanjung Puting National Park, one of the exotic locations featured in the IMAX® film Born to be Wild 3D. Photo copyright ©2011 Warner
A rehabilitated orangutan released two years ago by Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas, cradles her wild-born infant in Indonesia's Tanjung Puting National Park, one of the exotic locations featured in the IMAX® film Born to be Wild 3D. Photo copyright ©2011 Warner

The film hops the globe to Borneo (in the south pacific) where Birute Mary Galdikis has a similar nursery for orphaned baby orangutans.

"All these orangutans are here for one reason. Their mothers have been killed and their forest home cut down. These are the lucky ones who survive."


Dr. Galdikis says her project in a remote Indonesian jungle demonstrates why it is important for governments and businesses to understand the impact of development on wildlife habitats.

"On one hand, they do want to protect orangutan populations. They do want to protect tropical rainforests," the doctor explains. "But on the other hand, they are making so much money off these forests, especially off palm oil plantations, that it's very easy to destroy those forests and make money. Clearly, without the support of the government, I would not have been able to work in Kalimantan, which is Indonesian Borneo, for 40 years like I have. But on the other hand, those forests are disappearing."

As shown in the IMAX® film Born to be Wild 3D, elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust play soccer with their keepers as a form of exercise and enrichment. Photo copyright ©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
As shown in the IMAX® film Born to be Wild 3D, elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust play soccer with their keepers as a form of exercise and enrichment. Photo copyright ©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

In Kenya, elephant advocate Daphne Sheldrick says outreach to a new, younger generation has made a difference.

"Every single day in the Nairobi nursery, we open our doors to the public and hundreds of schoolchildren come filing in to see the elephants," Sheldrick says. "They talk to the keepers, they learn about the nature of elephants [and] what very human animals they are in many ways, gradually engendering a love of animals amongst the Kenyan nation. I think in Kenya there is probably more interest in the nature of elephants than in any other country in Africa. They really do appreciate them and the orphans have been very instrumental in passing that message."

It is that urgent message which drew Morgan Freeman to the film.

Academy Award® winning actor Morgan Freeman narrates the IMAX® film Born to be Wild 3D. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.
Academy Award® winning actor Morgan Freeman narrates the IMAX® film Born to be Wild 3D. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

"You get calls to do narrations - lots of them - and then once in a while a project comes along that, to use an over-used word, resonates," notes Freeman. "I think this particular project is extremely important and well worth doing because, number one, it highlights a couple of ladies whose courage and dedication really should be trumpeted.  And it also highlights the danger of what we are doing as humans in terms of the rest of the life on the planet."

"These orphans grow up so differently than wild orangutans, but as long as they feel loved they'll have the confidence they'll need later in life."


The projects at Orangutan Foundation International and the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust have the same goal: to enable the orphaned animals to rejoin their counterparts in the wild. As the film portrays, emotional bonds are forged between the human surrogate parents and the animals. But Sheldrick says it's important to remember that they were, as the film's title says, Born To Be Wild.

This little elephant, Eve, featured in the IMAX® film Born to be Wild 3D, is the first wild-born calf of Emily, an elephant that was rescued and rehabilitated by Dame Daphne Sheldrick 17 years ago. Photo copyright ©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
This little elephant, Eve, featured in the IMAX® film Born to be Wild 3D, is the first wild-born calf of Emily, an elephant that was rescued and rehabilitated by Dame Daphne Sheldrick 17 years ago. Photo copyright ©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

"Once we have done our job - saved the elephant, got it through the nursery stage, got it through the three years they need for milk [they cannot live without milk under the age of three and in that respect they are different than humans] - and once we have introduced them, in their own time, to the wild herds and they've made the decision to upgrade themselves to a wild situation, then our job is done. We have to keep reminding ourselves of that," Sheldrick says.

It took tons of equipment and refrigerator-sized cameras to obtain the remarkable 3D cinematography in Born to Be Wild. The projects in Kenya and Indonesia carefully monitored the filmmakers to be sure the vital work of raising the orphans was captured accurately, but not interrupted.

You May Like

Video 2nd American Reportedly Killed in Syria

Minnesota television report says Abdirahman Muhumed left area to fight for Islamic State militants More

WHO Fears Ebola Outbreak Could Infect 20,000 People

World Health Organization says outbreak 'continues to accelerate' but that most cases are concentrated in a few local areas More

Angelina Jolie Marries Brad Pitt

Actors wed in small private ceremony Saturday in France More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Pianist Myra Melford’s new CD “Life Carries Me This Way” features solo piano interpretations of drawings by modern artist Don Reich. She performs songs from the album, talks about turning art into music, and joins host Eric Felten in some Chicago boogie-woogie on "Beyond Category."