Nature Documentary hosted by Rom Whitaker and published by BBC broadcasted as part of BBC Natural World series in 2008 - English narration
First aired: 02 Dec 2008 20:00 BBC Two England
BBC Natural World Season 25 :: Ep 4
The Gharial, the world's oldest Crocodilian, is on the very edge of extinction. These bizarre fish-eating reptiles, that live in India's rivers, were already critically endangered, then last winter they were decimated by a mystery die-off.
Reptile expert Rom Whitaker has spent 30 years battling to save the Gharial, and this year his struggle has finally come to head. Can Rom and his team discover the cause of the die-off? Can they ensure the future of the species through breeding in captivity? And can they observe and film the very last wild animals that, until this year, still bred naturally in the wild?
"Today its future hangs by a thread. In September 2007 the Gharial was officially recognized as "Critically Endangered" by the IUCN , meaning it was one small step away from extinction in the wild. Its numbers had decreased to around 200 breeding adults in only a handful of rivers in India and Nepal.
Then in December 2007 on the Chambal River Sanctuary in northern India Gharial began dying in mysterious circumstances. The following five months saw the death of over 100 animals, or nearly 10% of the entire wild population but no one had any idea of the cause." [Icon Films, 2008]