THE FILM

The film focuses on a crucial conservation project to save the Cat Ba langure: Two females live isolated on a small island, the mangroves which allowed them to move back to the main population are gone. Fishermen cut them down for more shrimp farms...

Today every individual is important for the survival of the species - and two females are extremely valuable for the chance of reproduction and the genetic pool of the overall small population.

So the conservation Team of the Münster Zoo decided to start an international rescue operation: To catch the two females and bring them back to the langur population on the main island.

Lead by the American project Manager Rick Passaro and the director of the Zoo Münster, Jörg Adler, supported by the Australian veterinarians Larry Vogelnest and Michael Lynch together with a team of local helpers they planned the translocation like a military operation.

 

We follow them in the last two weeks, waiting for the night, when the two females will be caught in the trap: a high-tech net construction in a cave, 20 meters above the ground on a steep rock.

Along the final preparations we accompany the forest guards on the patrols through the jungle, learn how they fight the poachers and eliminate their deadly traps. Many of the men now working as langur guards have been hunting the animals not to long ago. They are a valuable source of information for the scientists and we get a unique insight view of their life on their floating homes.

All of that happens in the magic landscape of the Halong Bay, well known for its fantastic world of “Jurassic Park” – like islands.

While staying close to the rescue project we have the chance to get colorful insights of Cat Ba’s daily life: We visit a educational program in a elementary school, stroll through exotic markets, spend some time on a floating fish farm and accompany Jörg Adler to a Buddhist temple to pray for a successful translocation and a future for the Cat Ba langures.

 

The climax of the film is the translocation. It start’s at 2:00 .a.m. in the pitch-black night, when the team starts the adventurous trip to the cave in the jungle where the two females finally got caught. We are there when Larry has to do what he trained the last weeks: to sedate the two animals with a blow pipe – an action which turned out to be way more difficult then expected. After a medical examination in a temporary jungle surgery where they also got a radio transmission collar for later GPS tracking, men and monkey start the two hours boat trip to the new homeland in the sanctuary.

 

It’s an exciting and exhausting venture – with a happy end: Finally we see how the two langures make their first step into a – hopefully – good future.

 

Idea & Concept: Marvin Entholt

Director: Hannes Schuler

DoP: Johannes Straub

Sound Engineer: Sebastian Simon

Editor: Hannes Schuler

Speaker: David Kehoe

Producer: Blackbird Films Marvin Entholt