National Geographic’s Bob Poole Helps Rehabilitate an African National Park
Almost destroyed by civil war, Mozambique’s Gorongosa Park is fully alive again
Think of the majesty of our own protected parks, like Algonquin. Imagine if Algonquin had been destroyed during a war and the remaining moose, deer, bears, and other native animals were in low numbers and aggressive towards any human they saw? Now imagine that behaviour in a grown elephant who is old enough to remember war, just as humans remember who wronged them.
National Geographic cinematographer Bob Poole will be in Kitchener on Thursday, February 23 to tell us the story of how he and his sister, renowned elephant researcher Joyce Poole, alongside teams of park rangers and other researchers, helped rehabilitate Gorongosa Park, a national park in Mozambique, which had been close to destruction from the country’s civil war.
Mozambique’s civil war (1977-1992) had killed over a million people but also had a toll on the animal kingdom. For example, 90% of Gorongosa’s original 4,000 elephants had been killed. Those still alive today who experienced the war have learned to fear humans. Helping elephants learn to trust us again was one goal Bob and Joyce had been striving for when helping to rehabilitate this majestic, national park.
The rehabilitation process was long, but it proved to Bob that it is possible to recover what we’ve lost. It’s this story he’ll share with you next month in his presentation, Gorongosa Reborn: A Cameraman’s Journal With Bob Poole.
When Bob first arrived in Gorongosa, the restoration project had only been underway for two years, and wildlife was still scant. In this video from ABC Nightline, he describes some of the challenges faced with the project.
And as you can expect, he didn’t film all this incredible footage with his smartphone. Whether it’s the Phantom Camera that records up to 1,500 frames/second (a standard one records 30), or a Cineflex, which attaches to the nose of a helicopter and giro-stabilizes the video camera, Bob has shot incredible footage throughout his stay there.
Join us during this cold season for an uplifting story with Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Bob Poole as he shares with you his stories about Africa’s Gorongosa Park. Get your tickets now.