Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Sir David Attenborough is kicking off the new year with a new nature series.
“A Perfect Planet” is described as “a unique fusion of blue-chip natural history and earth science that explains how our living planet operates” designed to demonstrate “how the forces of nature drive, shape and support Earth’s great diversity of wildlife.”
The first four episodes will explore the impact that volcanoes, sunlight, weather, and oceans have on the planet, while the final episode focuses on the most recent force of nature, humans, and what can be done to restore the planet’s delicate balance.
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“‘A Perfect Planet’ takes us on a stunning visual journey, from lands drenched by the Indian monsoon to the slopes of fiery Hawaiian volcanoes, from the tidal islands of the Bahamas to the frozen wastes of Ellesmere Island,” declares a press release for the new series.
“From Arctic wolves prowling moonlit landscapes in winter, to frozen wood frogs magically thawing back to life in spring; from the vampire finches of the Galapagos who drink the blood of seabirds, to the African flamingos who gather in their thousands every year in a vast volcanic lake to breed, this is a series that will change the way we see our home. We will witness time and again how the lives of animals are driven and enabled by our planet’s great natural forces.”
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Discussing his new series, Sir David talks about the ethical fine line between zoos and aquariums, and conservation efforts to save species from extinction.
“If you’re talking about animals that have been reduced to less than a hundred, the reason they’ve done that [removed them from their natural habitat] is because something has happened that’s made it impossible for them to survive,” he explained.
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“Now, you can either sit back and say these animals have to look after themselves, or you’ve got to do something active,” Attenborough continued. “If you look at the Arabian oryx, for example, this animal was almost extinct and it was only saved because people brought them together to breed, then released them back into the wild. So, there are cases of real urgency where you can justify animals being kept in captivity. This is an extreme case, of course, some animals thrive in captivity and some do not — depends on how big they are and their habits. I can justify zoos and aquariums providing they have scientific reasoning and are selective about the animals they keep. They must also treat them to the best possible standard.”
The Canadian broadcast premiere of “A Perfect Planet” airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT starting Jan. 3, 2021, exclusively on BBC Earth in Canada. BBC Earth is also available on Amazon Prime Video, with “A Perfect Planet” airing simultaneously on this platform, with new episodes rolling out weekly, exclusively on BBC Earth.