Never-before-seen footage of orangutan birth in Refugees Of The Lost Rain Forest on BBC One

The birth of two Sumatran orangutans in Jersey, helped by 21st-century technology, gives conservationists hope, and is a remarkable story that we know will enthrall and amaze our audiences."Jon Gripton, Managing Editor, BBC Jersey
Date: 08.07.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.56
Incredible, never-before-seen footage of the 'miracle birth' of a Sumatran orangutan is at the heart of a captivating documentary filmed to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of Jersey’s Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.

BBC Radio Jersey and BBC South West TV have produced the programme, highlighting the work being done to help protect Sumatran orangutans in the wild.

Refugees Of The Lost Rain Forest [Sunday 14 July, 3.30pm, BBC One South West] 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 filmed at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust includes HD footage of Sumatran orang-utan Dana, giving birth to her daughter.

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

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.

Jon Gripton, Managing Editor, BBC Channel Islands TV and BBC Radio Jersey says: “The work of Gerald Durrell, which began 50 years ago, is more vital today than ever. Experts say the fate of orangutans in Sumatra is in the balance. But the birth of two Sumatran orangutans in Jersey, helped by 21st-century technology, gives conservationists hope, and is a remarkable story that we know will enthrall and amaze our audiences.”

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