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The Wilds of Madagascar

May 19, 2000
Update: 70 Feet Up

Following is the transcript of a voice call from producer Peter Tyson and cinematographer Nick Gordon who are on location in the Ankarana Reserve

male crowned lemur Crowned lemurs flourish within Ankarana Reserve. Their populations outside the reserve are decreasing.
This is Peter Tyson, online producer of NOVA. I'm currently 70 feet up on a filming platform in the middle of the Ankarana reserve. It's a sunset evening. The sky is lit orange, it's quite beautiful, and we're right now trying to get the crowned lemurs to come up to our height.

Crowned lemurs are the lemurs that Nick Gordon, the cinematographer who is with me right now, has been filming for a year here in the Ankarana. This is one of nine towers that he's using, and the lead dominant female has just arrived up here at 70 feet in the tree. She's missing an eye—they call her One-Eye. And I'll put Nick Gordon on now.

One-Eye Bolder than the rest of the troop she dominates, One-Eye approaches the top of the filming tower.

Nick Gordon:
Peter and I are about 22 meters up here in the canopy of the Ankarana forest. I've been following this group for almost one year now, and this is such a special moment because it's the first time in the entire year that we've been able to get this group up to the top of the tower. And she's just less than a meter from me right now - One-Eye we call her, because we discovered her last year and she's only got one eye.

The film we're making really follows her life because it was about eight or nine months ago that she gave birth to an infant boy, a little infant male, and we've followed his development, and it's so special because he's here too. It really is wonderful. And these little gray brown lemurs - that makes them sound boring but they're not—the males are sort of like Rupert bears and the females are really very cute. Bright orange eyes with a lovely chestnut color down their backs.

Peter Tyson is Online Producer for NOVA.

Check back tomorrow for another update from the field.

Forest of Hope (June 7, 2000)
A Great Day for Silkies (June 4, 2000)
Camp Life Unveiled (June 3, 2000)
Three Hours with the Silkies (June 1, 2000)
Angels of Marojejy (May 31, 2000)
Wildlife (May 30, 2000)
Into the Marojejy Massif (May 28, 2000)
Croc Cave (May 26, 2000)
Fossa! (May 25, 2000)
Bat Cave (May 24, 2000)
Update: English Camp (May 23, 2000)
Update: Sunken Forest (May 21, 2000)
Update: Night Walk (May 20, 2000)
Update: 70 Feet Up (May 19, 2000)
Update: Tropical Downpour (May 18, 2000)

Photos: (1) David Parks/library photo; (2) Peter Tyson.

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