The inspiring, selfless work of Dr. Biruté Galdikas of Orangutan Foundation International and Dame Daphne Sheldrick of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is showcased in the Warner Bros. Pictures/IMAX film Born To Be Wild. Though well acquainted with these women and their tenacious efforts, I spent forty minutes captivated by the rescued orphans—each animal intriguing in his or her own way. IMAX 3D puts you in the midst of the infant orangutan and baby elephant antics via images so lifelike some viewers raised a hand to shoo away the occasional on-screen fly. The documentary, which takes you to the vast range in Kenya and the verdant rainforests of Borneo, is movingly narrated by Academy Awardwinning actor, Morgan Freeman.
With footage that is touching, but not depressing, viewers follow Dr. Galdikas and Dame Sheldrick as they nurture their orphan charges, helping them heal. As the youngsters grow, the women and their devoted staffs ensure that the orphans learn life skills, because the ultimate goal is to return them to their homes in the wild.
A nearly too-subtle message is the threat looming over both the elephants and the orangutans. If human behavior is not changed—and protection efforts are not increased—this labor of love to rescue the young victims will be in vain. Please take the opportunity to see the movie if you can, and visit the websites of these two stalwart supporters of endangered species for more information on what you can do to support their work.
President, Animal Welfare Institute
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust: www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org
Orangutan Foundation International: www.orangutan.org