Last October while attending the Great Ape Summit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, I got to hear the world’s top scientists and conservationists discuss the current state of our planet’s primate species. Among those leaders was renowned conservationist Ian Redmond.
For over 30 years Ian Redmond has worked throughout the world as a tropical field biologist and is most known for his work with mountain gorillas and elephants. As an outspoken advocate for wildlife his work has shifted over the years from research to conservation.
While working with Diane Fossey in Rwanda Ian studied the Karisoke Gorillas. There, he befriended Fossey’s favorite gorilla, a young silverback named Digit. On new years eve of 1977 poachers came across Digit’s group while he was on sentry and attacked. Digit managed to defend the group against the six poachers and their dogs taking five spear wounds in defense. He was able to kill one of the poacher’s dogs allowing his group of 13 to escape the attack. While his group fled, Digit held his ground until the end.
The next day Ian discovered the mutilated body of a young silverback. His head was cut off for the skull and his hands for ash trays, all for about twenty dollars. This headless and handless body was Digit, an intelligent being Ian once regarded as a friend.
Since then, Ian has had many other run-ins with poachers and he has devoted his life to raising awareness and protecting these amazing animals. From the United Nations Environment Programme to the Great Apes Survival Project he has been instrumental in battling the loss of life in our planet’s rain forests.
While attending the Great Ape Summit I was able to speak with Ian about the Drill Project. I explained that the film is intended for the people of Equatorial Guinea and is why it is narrated in Spanish. We both agreed that nonetheless it would be great to have it narrated in English. That way others can spend more time looking at the beautiful landscape of Bioko and watching wild drills for the first time on film rather than reading subtitles. As a primatologist he was interested to hear about the wild drills of Bioko and after a short while talking, the Drill Project had gained an ally. Ian agreed to help the project by being the voice behind our newly dubbed English version.
Ian Redmond’s genuine devotion to conservation and willingness to help proved to me that he was every inch the conservationist that we should aspire to be. He is tireless, inventive, realistic and yet optimistic. Ian truly devotes his life towards the well being of wildlife. I could not have found anyone better to narrate our film. Therefore, I am proud to present “El Proyecto del Mono Dril” narrated in English by Ian Redmond.
El Proyecto Del Mono Drill, Narrated in English by Ian Redmond. From Drill Films on Vimeo. New musical score by Derek Baird.