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Space Museum tells story of love between humans and endangered animals

     The latest Omnimax show, "Born to be Wild", which will start showing at the Hong Kong Space Museum on March 1 and will screen until August 31, tells of a great love story between humans and animals. The show will take audiences on an extraordinary trip deep into the Indonesian rainforests of Borneo and the Kenyan savannah in Africa, where two zoologists have devoted their lives to rescuing and raising endangered and orphaned orangutans and elephants.

     In Africa, elephants have been targeted by ivory poachers in Kenya, a country that has suffered war and economic degradation for generations. Hunting places a great number of orphaned elephants in peril after their parents are killed. Fifty years ago, a celebrated elephant authority, Dr Dame Daphne M Sheldrick, decided to rescue these orphans, and she established a nursery outside Nairobi for physically and emotionally healing adopted little elephants.

     On the other side of the world, in the Indonesian part of Borneo, orangutans are on the verge of extinction, threatened by poaching and habitat loss due to illegal logging and oil palm plantations. A world-renowned primatologist, Dr Biruté Mary Galdikas, who has studied wild orangutans for more than 40 years, has put in lifelong effort to save orphaned orangutans. Over 300 orangutans live in her research station, called "Camp Leakey", which is built deep in the jungle of Tanjung Puting National Park on the island of Borneo.

     Love for animals has driven the two zoologists to devote themselves to rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned animals. It took 28 years of hard work for Dr Sheldrick to finally develop a milk formula that would help elephants grow up big and strong. Dr Galdikas came to understand the different stages of orangutan development and thus helped them learn the skills they need in the wild. Both of them have done much more than just raise rescued animals: their organisations have also helped protect the national parks in which the orphans would eventually live.

     The show will invite audiences to follow the few humans who have ventured into the realm of the wild elephants and orangutans to see them at close range. Viewers will accompany the two zoologists on walks through the lush rainforests of Borneo and across the rugged Kenyan savannah. They will see how the unpredictable, mischievous "toddlers" with extraordinary intelligence live with their keepers, grow in their company, learn survival skills and techniques, and are finally released to the wild where they belong.

     The 40-minute Omnimax Show "Born to be Wild" will be screened daily at 1.30pm, 5pm and 8.30pm at the Hong Kong Space Museum's Stanley Ho Space Theatre. The Museum is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays). Tickets at $24 (front stalls) and $32 (stalls) are available at the Hong Kong Space Museum Box Office and at all URBTIX outlets. Full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities can enjoy a half-price concession.

     The Hong Kong Space Museum is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. For further information, please call 2721 0226 or visit the website at

Ends/Tuesday, February 28, 2012


An orangutan in the Space Museum's new Omnimax show "Born to be Wild", which will start showing on March 1. Like human babies, infant orangutans need lots of love and attention. (© 2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)


In "Born to be Wild", orangutan keepers are seen acting as surrogate mothers to understand the different stages of development and help the orangutans become mature. (© 2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)


A still from "Born to be Wild". Orangutans are happiest at play in the jungle. At the age of seven or eight, it is about time for them to go back to the forest. (© 2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment  Inc.)


In this still from "Born to be Wild", elephant keepers play games with little elephants to keep them happy. (© 2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)


Dr Dame Daphne M Sheldrick puts sunblock on an orphaned elephant's ears in a scene from "Born to be Wild". Without their mothers' protection and shade, little elephants easily get sunburned. (© 2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)


A still from "Born to be Wild". It took Dr Sheldrick 28 years to develop a milk formula that would help elephants grow up big and strong. (© 2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)




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