Alan Root’s film: A space in the heart of Africa

I saw that Konstantin Yordanov had posted a link on Facebook to Alan Root’s epic film about the wildlife of the Congo, so decided to share it here. I’ve been wanting to see this film for a long time, as it has great footage of lots of rare Congolese species including the Okapi, Aquatic genet, Giant otter shrew and the Pygmy antelope. It’s on YouTube and 50 minutes very well spent in my opinion.

The link is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rr40nGkLGkg

10 Comments
  1. Jeroen Verhoeff 2 months ago

    I saw this when it just came out and it was and is epic for sure!
    I did not realize the aquatic genet was in it and how!
    Wikipedia says it ‘possibly’ hunts with paws and whiskers, but the film clearly shows it surely does.
    I guess they made enclosures to film the animals in and I will read this:
    https://books.google.nl/books?id=9_WovFtUh8UC&pg=PA286&lpg=PA286&dq=alan+root+a+space+heart+africa&source=bl&ots=Fo3TzDKSzq&sig=ACfU3U0k7y-GGXGmcWlwqNJFK9w9ALp_Vg&hl=nl&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjNj_iawtPzAhVDsaQKHWfSBpkQ6AF6BAgJEAM#v=onepage&q=alan%20root%20a%20space%20heart%20africa&f=false
    to see if I am right…

    Thanks Charles!

  2. ELIAS SADALLA FILHO 2 months ago

    Fantastic Film! Only rare mammal species from Congo rainforests.

  3. Alan Dahl 2 months ago

    Amazing footage! Totally worth watching. Thanks for posting Charles.

  4. Ralf Bürglin 2 months ago

    The film has been made 25 years ago. I guess there is still nothing comparable. Thanks for sharing the link.

  5. LIPCHITZ 2 months ago

    Fabuleux !

  6. Jeroen Verhoeff 2 months ago

    He wrote that he used caught otter shrews and aquatic genets, kept them for some months in enclosures in the forest where he filmed them, after that he set them free. He was one of the firsts to work this way and set the bar. Many filmed mammals nowadays smaller than a rabbit are still filmed in enclosures (often in Britisch studios though), many bigger mammals are often habituated animals or rescued animals that roam around wildlife centers. Though guy this mister Root: he got bitten by leopard, pufadder, gorilla and hippo!

  7. Author
    Charles Foley 2 months ago

    Yes it was crazy how many animals he’d been bitten by. A number of years ago we were putting radio collars on some elephants and he came to help us with the helicopter work. At one point we’d darted a female elephant that had a tiny calf, and the calf didn’t recognise the sleeping mother, and was following us instead. Someone had to stay with the calf until the mother woke up, and given that Alan Root had already lost so many body parts to animals, we figured one or two more wouldn’t make much difference, so he took on the job. Fortunately the calf recognised the mother as soon as it started to make noise and he got out of there with his remaining limbs intact. He really was a trailblazer in the film world.

  8. Vladimir Dinets 2 months ago

    Such a cool movie, thanks! I guess they got lots of data on the behavior of aquatic genet and others, but apparently it’s never been formally published and never made it into any literature.

  9. Vladimir Dinets 2 months ago

    The civet vs. pangolin scene is straight out of Kipling’s tale about the origin of armadillos.

  10. Jurej 3 weeks ago

    Even more fascinating is this old survey of wild cattle in Cambodia:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJzKTZaLEA4
    It features footage of the now extinct Kouprey, possibly the only one in existence. It turns that most illustrations of Kouprey are wrong, including ones in ‘Handbook of the Mammals of the World’.

    Another documentary of Alan Root, at ca 25.00 features Northern White Rhinos in Garamba Park, now functionally extinct:
    https://youtu.be/L09dQQjKtjs

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