The episode focuses on one particular species – the Northern White Rhino, which is on the brink of extinction. The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Garamba National Park is the only place to find the surviving wild population. Mark Carwardine hopes to return to the park where he and Douglas Adams managed to find and photograph the animals 20 years ago.
In northern Kenya, near the border with the DRC, a conservation project for Northern White Rhinos is abandoned. The pair then turn their attention to primates, visiting a chimpanzee rehabilitation centre and tracking mountain gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This includes an intense interaction with a Mountain Gorilla family group in the wild.
At Queen Elizabeth National Park, close to the border with the DRC, the pair come across an elephant conservation project. Carwardine finds that elephant numbers have increased from a handful of animals to over one thousand. This shows that anti-poaching patrols are working. However, Carwardine, receives news from contacts though the trip that suggest that it is too risky to cross the border. This was on account of the Kivu conflict which gripped the DRC. Since the journey to Garamba National Park, where the rhinos were last sighted in 2006 would involve travelling through the fighting, they decide against pursuing the rhinos further. Returning to Kenya, the presenters join a team from the Kenya Wildlife Service on a black rhino relocation project.
The episode presents a wholesome picture of wildlife conservation. Even though the results are not always ideal, conservation must continue. While it may be likely that some species will go extinct after all, we must protect the others.
59 Minutes / 2010 / Directed by Tim Green
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