Mike Birkhead Associates - People

Good Morning Kalimantan

6 x 30 series for BBC

This series and Radio Gibbon feature Chanee and his work in Indonesia. It will be shown around the world in 2010

Mike Birkhead

Episode 1.

In Indonesian Borneo – or Kalimantan – there’s a rather unusual radio station run by Chanee…a DJ with a difference. He’s on a one-man mission: to save the regions wildlife. In Episode 1 Chanee  rescues  “Big Bear” from a life of misery; saves a 13foot long King Cobra from certain death  and continues his everyday work match-making gibbons in his rehabilitation centre on Hampapak Island.

Baby bear

Ten years ago Chanee heeded the call of the wild and left France to pursue a childhood passion for gibbons. Now he’s engaged in a constant battle…against loggers, poachers, and the illegal pet trade. Even though it means risking his life. Using his radio station – Radio Kalaweit - to spread his message to the people of Borneo.

Kalimantan at night

Episode 2.

Chanee and his team of dedicated followers including his wife Parada and five year old son Andrew have had a call to radio Kalaweit. A Slow Loris is in trouble and needs their help. These big-eyed primates may look cute, but they produce a toxin through glands on the inside of their elbows… which they then rub into their teeth for added self-defence – Chanee and his small son are going to have to be careful.

Slow Loris

Meanwhile on  Hampapak the two Gibbons, Holly and Habir, Channe introduced to each other on a blind date – seem to be falling in love. Chanee’s expertise is working. Years of studying the love making habits of these gibbons in French zoos as a youngster is paying off. Even if they haven’t gone ape over each other just yet, everything points to a successful family tree for Holly and Habir.

Proboscis Monkey

But not everything is going smoothly for Chanee - one of Borneo’s largets primates with a huge nose – the proboscis monkey is running riot in a nearby town. If Chanee can catch it in the snake infested forest he can save its life and take it to Hampapak Island for release. But Chanee may well have taken on too much this time as the local council have called in some hunters to shoot the trouble some monkey.

Episode 3.

Chanee’s day starts rescuing a small baby macaque just out of town. It may well be able to join Channe’s ever expanding “Pig Tailed Gang” back on Hampapak island if things work out well.

Gibbon in tree

Hampapak Island is filling up – along side his 150 rescued gibbons and 15 or so Macaques Chanee has Sun Bear and a newly acquired Rhinoceros Hornbill – Graham. The bird arrived in style when a listener who had been keeping him as a pet turned up with Graham on the passenger seat of his car. Ideally, Chanee would like to set Graham free at Hampapak, but not set him up as a free meal for the macaques at the same time.

Chanee in town

Chanee is having to learn new skills every week in his attempt to save Borneo’s threatened wildlife.

Episode 4.

Chanee’s work on the gibbons is progressing well – in the town of Palankarara – home of Radio Kalaweit the illegal pet trade has ceased and Radio kalaweit is the most listened to radio Station in Kalimantan. Building on his local success, Chanee is now busy spreading his message across Indonesia. Almost 1000 miles away, off the west coast of Sumatra, is the island of Marak.

Beautiful Beach

Marak is a tropical paradise. With a lush, untouched jungle interior, it was the perfect choice for another gibbon rescue centre. Here Chanee is trying to save 100 Siamangs the largest of the gibbons. But just as Chanee arrives six of the resident Simangs have escaped and he must recapture them before these fiercely territorial apes tear each other apart.

Baby Simang

Episode 5.

Channe is back on Hampapak Island where “Big Bear” is growing too fast. Chanee has to find the growing Sun Bear new accommodation before he breaks out of his cage. The only possibility is the huge enclosure enjoyed by the pig- tailed gang. But to do this Chanee has to hire a helicopter and relocate the troublesome macaques hundreds of miles away from civilization.

Pig Tailed Monkey

Armed with large doses of tranquilizers Channe sets off on a seemingly impossible single handed mission of relocating the pig tailed gang. Big Bear's future along with that of the Pig Tailed gang hangs in the balance.

Episdoe 6.

Mother gibbon Tongkey has just given birth to baby Mito but will this new mum look after her baby?

Mum and baby

Channe’s gibbons are doing well on Hampapak Island but what of the other animals Chanee is also helping? Big bear is in his new extensive home and even has a girl friend and Graham the Hornbill can practice his clumsy flights without the fear of landing in the pig tailed gangs enclosure and being attacked. With all well on Hampapak Channe heads off to Marak Island off Sumatra to oversee the release of one of the family of Siamang Gibbons. Father Tommy,    mother Dewi,    baby Desri    and his big sister Suci will be the first family of siamangs to be released on Marak if Chanee’s ambitious plans succeed.

Sun through clouds

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