For the first time in over 50 years, a team of wildlife film-makers from the BBC’s Natural History Unit and scientists from the world-renowned Smithsonian Institution has been granted access to venture deep into Burma’s impenetrable jungles. Their mission is to discover whether these forests are home to iconic animals, rapidly disappearing from the rest of the world – this expedition has come not a moment too soon. AKA, Wild Burma: Nature’s Lost Kingdom
On the first leg of their journey, wildlife film-makers Gordon Buchanan and Justine Evans set out to discover whether the mountains of western Burma are home to a population of Asian elephants that could prove critical to the survival of the species. Finding elephants in a dense bamboo forest is a challenge. Notoriously grumpy, Asian elephants are likely to charge if caught unaware. It is a race against time as the world eyes up Burma’s natural riches – what the team finds could change the future of Burma’s wilds forever.
On the second leg of their journey, wildlife film-makers Gordon Buchanan and Justine Evans, along with a team of scientists, head deep into the mountains of western Burma. This is where they hope to find the shy sun bear and two of the world’s rarest and most beautiful cats: the Asian golden cat and the clouded leopard. Meanwhile, zoologist Ross Piper and the science team are on a mission to create a wildlife survey to present to the government of Burma to persuade them that these forests are so unique they must be protected. High on the forest ridges, Gordon finds evidence to suggest that Burma’s wildlife might be in danger. Undercover filming in a border town known as the ‘Las Vegas of the jungle’ leads to a shocking discovery.
For the last leg of their journey, the team search for the most iconic animal of them all, the tiger. To find it, they must split up. Wildlife camerawoman Justine Evans and the science team head to the tangled jungles of northern Burma, one of the largest swathes of unbroken forest in Southeast Asia. Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan heads to the only other place in Burma where tigers may still exist, the far south. The forests of Karen State were once home to a thriving population of tigers, but this region has been isolated by war for over 60 years and little is known about the fate of the animals.