Refugees Of The Lost Rain Forest

Confirmed for BBC Four on 26 November at 8.00pm to 8.30pm

Tuesday 26 November



Incredible, never-seen-before footage of the 'miracle birth' of a Sumatran orangutan is at the heart of this captivating BBC documentary filmed to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of Jersey’s Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.

The natural-history programme special Refugees Of The Lost Rain Forest explores the late naturalist Gerald Durrell’s legacy through the work of a small group of people on two contrasting islands, Jersey and Sumatra.

Enthralling footage follows the birth of the baby Sumatran orangutan at Durrell and includes never-seen-before HD footage of one of the great apes, Dana, giving birth.

The birth, on 9 June, was remarkable as Dana’s previous pregnancy in 2009 suffered complications that endangered her health and resulted in a stillborn infant.

Following the incident, Dana was left with blocked fallopian tubes, rendering her infertile. Expert intervention by Jersey General Hospital’s head obstetrician, Neil MacLachlan, helped her to conceive against the odds, in late 2012.

The new baby was the second Sumatran orangutan born at Durrell in 2013; the first, Jantho, was born to 30-year-old Annette on 1 April.

Meanwhile in Sumatra, the programme looks at the work of Dr Ian Singleton, who trained at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. He is working to save orangutans from the impact of deforestation and other problems. His work, which is partly funded by donations from the people of Jersey, helps prepare them for release back into the wild.

Refugees Of The Lost Rain Forest will be repeated on BBC Two on 30 November at 11.30am.