In her brand new documentary series for ITV, national treasure Dame Judi Dench visited the Danau Girang Field Centre to meet some of the enchanting animals that live in the heart of the Bornean rainforest and to get a vivid insight into the importance of this unique ecosystem to life on our planet.
An unassuming one-story building, surrounded by tropical vegetation, the Danau Girang Field Centre isn’t your average university site. A collaborative research and training facility, managed by Sabah Wildlife Department and Cardiff University, it is dedicated to the conservation of tropical ecosystems and the management of wildlife in the increasingly fragmented Bornean landscape.
Dr Benoit Goossens, Director of the Danau Girang Field Centre, said: “It was such a special treat for all of us at the Centre to welcome Dame Judi Dench while she was shooting her documentary. She left such an impression and we all enjoyed spending a couple of days with her.”
During her visit to Borneo and the Field Centre, Dame Judi experienced amazing interactions with animals including orangutans, sun bears, elephants, crocodiles and hornbills. She glimpsed stunning flying creatures like the unusual gliding mammal, the Kubong, which can fly for over 100 metres, and saw more than a million bats, a dung beetle called Bob and a snake she named James Bond.
“This jungle is beyond my wildest dreams. Around every corner there’s always an extraordinary creature.
“I’ve learnt how vulnerablea this wonderful place is and what we need to do to save it. This journey has affected me so much, and I’m thrilled I’ve been asked to be an ambassador for its rainforest.”
Episode one airs on ITV1 tonight (2 July) at 9pm and Episode two on 9 July at 9pm.
To learn more about the vital conservation work of the dedicated team of Malaysian and international research scientists at Danau Girang, visit our Field Centre pages.
The latest from Cardiff University.