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Attenborough's Ark: Natural World Special

Natural World, 2012-2013 Episode 5 of 10

David Attenborough chooses his ten favourite animals that he would most like to save from extinction. From the weird to the wonderful, he picks fabulous and unusual creatures that he would like to put in his 'ark', including unexpected and little-known animals such as the olm, the solenodon and the quoll. He shows why they are so important and shares the ingenious work of biologists across the world who are helping to keep them alive.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Sun 19 Aug 2018 02:50

A word from the producer, Sally Thomson

Working with David Attenborough is always a treat but finding out about some of the weird and wonderful animals that he chose for his ‘ark’ was fascinating. I learned all sorts of new things about some really diverse and unusual species – some I’d never previously heard about!


One of the most intriguing animals for me is the solenodon. Before making this film I hadn’t even heard of it! It has such a remarkable history with ancestors that can be traced back 76 million years and yet very little is known about it. With its incredible nose, I also find it SO cute!  


One of the stories which proved quite tense for us was that of the Sumatran rhino. We knew that Ratu, the female rhino at Way Kambas National Park was pregnant months ago but she had miscarried in the past and it was never certain that she would have a successful birth. We all waited with fingers crossed and thankfully the news finally came through that she had given birth to a health male calf – relief and joy all round!


Finally one of the big surprises for me in David’s selection was the Venus Flower Basket.  This glass sponge is the simplest of all living creatures and yet its structure is so amazing.  As David points out in the film – it really shows us how much we still have to learn about the natural world which I felt was a poignant way to end the film.


Role Contributor
PresenterDavid Attenborough
ProducerSally Thomson
Series EditorSteve Greenwood

Saving Pangolins from Extinction


Read Dr Dan Challender's article on the state of Pangolin conservation

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