After covering man’s efforts to study the world around him, David takes a look at the consequences of human activities on not only the living beings that cohabit our planet but the planet itself.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) was formed in 1961 and one of their earliest conservation efforts was focused on the endangered animals in the Galapagos Islands.
The Galapagos tortoise weigh upto 250 kgs and live upto 150 years, making them the longest living animals on earth.
We then meet the late Lonesome George, who was the last member of his species, the Pinta tortoise.
Then the focus shifts to the Virunga Mountains, one of the last remaining strongholds of the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas.
David’s visit was shortly preceded by the brutal killing of Digit, Dian’s favorite gorilla. He witnessed first-hand Dian’s grieving for her loss. After returning to England, he took up the cause himself. Readers interested to know more about Mountain Gorillas are encouraged to read the book: Gorillas in the Mist by Dian Fossey.
Mountain Gorillas are not the only great apes covered in this episode. David also worked with Orangutans back in the 1950s. He brought back one of the Orangutans to the London Zoo and named him “Charlie”.
We then move on to the giants of the oceans, the Blue Whales. David encountered them for the first time at the age of 76. The whaling industry has taken a heavy toll on the worldwide population of whales.
In addition to these magnificent beings, the planet is also at the receiving end of man’s activities. Earth’s climate has been undergoing some drastic changes and this affects every living being in the world.
It is high time, we human beings take active steps to ensure the survival and flourishing of our fellow beings who share our wonderful planet with us. As David states, we need concerted efforts on an international level.
David’s observations about Mountain Gorillas perhaps sums it the best:
“There is more meaning and mutual understanding in exchanging a glance with a gorilla than any other animal I know.”
Image Source: PBS Nature
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