Monday, October 29, 2007

Above image (c) Cede Prudente

Above image (c) Chris Morgan
Borneo shoot a roaring success!
October 29th, 2007
The Wildlife Media team is fresh back from filming BEARTREK in Borneo - leg two of our global motorcycle wildlife adventure. We spent an incredible month traveling in search of sun bears, orangutans, elephants and gibbons in the dense, tropical rainforest of Malaysia. We returned home with over 60 hours of footage including spectacular scenes of 'Chura' - a 10 month old orphaned bear cub who is being prepared for a life in the wild by our friend and colleague Siew Te Wong. BEARTREK will profile his incredible work for sun bear conservation as we paint a picture of this secretive bear species and it's amazingly biodiverse habitat. In addition to Chura (Malay for 'hope'), another highlight was tracking 87 wild Bornean pygmy elephants for several days. We obtained some spectacular footage and recordings as we moved among the herd just feet away.

Now to the editing - we will be combining footage from Katmai (Alaska) and Borneo into a 10-15 minute demo reel (no small task considering the amount of footage we have!). Then our fund-raising efforts shift into high gear as we prepare to film in Canada, Mongolia, India, and Peru in 2008. Through Wildlife Media's Global Bear Conservation Initiative (GBCI), 25% of our production budget (about $400,000) will be donated to several high priority bear conservation projects on the ground (including those we are profiling in the film). In addition, all profits from the sale of the film upon completion will be pumped directly back into bear conservation and to seed fund the next Wildlife Media campaign and production. To find out more click here. To make a donation, click here.

We'll be updating the BEARTREK website with images and clips soon - watch this space! In the meantime, a small sample of images:

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A note from Borneo
October 15th, 2007

Well, here we are in Borneo - 3 weeks into our BEARTREK film shoot. This place is amazing. Right now I'm using my Blackberry phone to blog directly from the field. Its 620am here and we're on the river tracking bears, proboscis monkeys, orangs and elephants in cell range! In front of us are two bearded pigs - strange looking creatures that dwell in this damp tropocal rainforest. Overhead proboscis monkeys are jumping through the treetops anda along the river bank crocodiles and huge monitor lizards dart away. All these creatures are helping us to film this most complex of bear ecosystems. Which brings us to the star of the show - Chura - a 10 month old sun bear cub that is preparing for a life in the wild thanks to the work of my friend and colleague Siew Te Wong. She's the first of several orphan candidates that Wong is working with. We had an incredible time following her through the rainforests as she discovered new smells and sounds for the first time since her mother was killed and Chura taken captive by the poachers. It brought tears to my eyes watching her play in the forest - climbing vines and digging termites just like a wild bear would!

Another amazing experience has been following Borneo elephants with tracker Bert Joseph - his incredible skills brought us to within 20 feet of 87 elephants! A huge herd that was absolute magic to witness.

More soon.
Chris Morgan