Born to be Wild 3D, a new nature documentary opening in IMAX theaters this week, is guaranteed to get you up close and personal with some extraordinary, and unfortunately, endangered animals. The film documents the plight of orphaned orangutans and elephants and the efforts of two dedicated women, Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas and Dame Daphne Sheldrick, who have made it their life’s work to ensure that these species remain not just on the planet, but in the wild.
The film, which is narrated by Morgan Freeman, travels to the remote jungles of Borneo in Indonesia where Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas started a small research outpost in 1971 to study orangutans, the only great apes living in Asia. The small outpost, named Camp Leakey after the famous archaeologist, soon evolved into the Orangutan Foundation International, a rescue and conservation organization dedicated to saving the species that are in danger of extinction because of habitat destruction, poaching, hunting and the illegal pet trade. Dr. Galdikas and her organization work to protect orangutans and their habitat as well as rehabilitate wild-born and ex-captive orphan orangutans for release into the wild.
The film then travels to Africa where Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick runs an elephant orphanage on the edge of the Nairobi National Park in Kenya. For the past 25 years Dame Daphne and her staff at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (named after her late husband) have hand reared and rehabilitated back into the wild over 130 baby elephants, as well as a multitude of other animals like black rhinos, buffaloes, zebras, mongooses and birds. Sheldrick is a recognized authority on the rearing of wild creatures and is the first person to have perfected the milk formula for baby elephants and rhinos.
Born to be Wild 3D will open in IMAX theaters on April 8th. The filmmakers have released several fascinating behind-the-scenes webisodes from the production of the film.
Episode 1: "Borneo" See how the documentary crew dealt with filming in an off-the-beaten-path rainforest, and how palm oil plantations are endangering the orangutan population.
Episode 2: "Kenya" Learn about the amazing work of Daphne Sheldrick of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and her fifty-year career rescuing orphaned African elephants.
Episode 3: "Camp Leakey" Go inside orangutan research and care center Camp Leakey, where a population of great apes have been studied, raised, and rehabilitated by founder Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas
Photo credit: Screen Capture