by Adam the Cameraman, in Grenada
19th February, 2009
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I arrived last night with our cameraman David to film the aerial shots that will be used in the programme. We’re staying in a bit of a dive of a hotel but at least the air-con is working, the heat and humidity is oppressive!

I was reading a travel guide on the plane which described the locals as having an almost ‘English-reserve temperament’ about them and it’s true. They are not loud and in your face like some other Caribbean cultures but really soft spoken and everyone so far has been very nice and accommodating.



by Adam the Cameraman, in Grenada
19th February, 2009
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Wendy and Robert Cooper found themselves landed with five Macaws after a boat smuggling exotic animals dropped anchor at St Georges in Grenada island and was promptly raided by customs and the GSPCA. Over 800 animals were on board that ship, confined in tiny cages, and as numerous wildlife institutions stepped in to take the best specimens for a ‘rescue operation’ five scraggly Macaws were left. Wendy got a call asking if she would take them on because no one else would have such wretched looking birds and that was 12 years ago.

Within ten days her and her husband had built an aviary and the birds slowly started to make a slow but steady recovery. Within a couple of years they had started to breed – a huge feat for captive birds and even more important as they are endangered, so began the quest to save Macaws and release them back into the wild. It certainly hasn’t been easy but using entirely their own finances, they have built up a breeding population of macaws and released three back into the wild. They are in the process of sorting out official status as a registered non-profit NGO and we had a brilliant time visiting them.

The rest of the day comprised a spaying a cat, doing rounds around the island to see a sick dog and plenty of general view filming and driving shots here there and everywhere.


First Shoot…

by Adam the Cameraman, in Malawi
16th March, 2009
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Finally we’re off!! Malawi here we come! First shoot of many on what will be an epic series, I promise you… It will have you on the edge of your seats and there will be plenty of squeaky bum moments!

Marc and the production team have already done a lot of pre-production and we have a general idea of what stories await us, but what you can never account for is the unexpected moments and there are going to be plenty of those.

4 hours before departure and I have decided to clear my mind of any thoughts about how we are going to approach any of the filming. You get there and evaluate everything. It is so easy to worry about whether we have enough stories, or what filming style we are going for, or will Luke remember his lines (!!! lol)

I got back late last night having spent a weekend up in Dundee filming a couple of music videos for a Scottish indie band and I am shattered, my bones are aching and I am hoping that the lovely people at British Airways will upgrade us, fingers crossed! It’s an 11 hour flight to Jo’Burg, a three hour transit, followed by another two and a half hour flight up to Lilongwe on South African Airways. All in all 17 hours, give or take, its a long one and I hate flying!

So, what am I expecting… hmmmm. Adventure I suppose!

Pirates of the Caribbean

by Adam the Cameraman, in Grenada
18th March, 2009
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Dario from KIDO called us up. A couple of pirates had brought him a Hawksbill Turtle which he was going to tag and did we want to come over and film it.

We jumped at the chance to go and film another turtle. We had become mesmerized by these creatures and by the work Dario was doing to save them.

These two guys are true pirates of the caribbean. They are from Petit Martinique an island north of Carricou. They don’t have any hooks for hands or parrots on their shoulders but definitely untrustworthy, drunk and slightly mocking of us and Dario’s efforts with the turtles, but hey, as long as they got paid for it, what did they care.

Cow dilemma

by Adam the Cameraman, in Mexico
27th March, 2009
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Early start and off to the shelter. Treated a few sheep with nasty nasal discharge, one of which also had horrible scabs all over it’s nose, ears and mouth.. I think it may have a concurrent auto-immune disorder as well as the generalised pneumonia that is amongst the flock, but I treated them all as best I could before heading down to an emergency call that came in. A local farmer who is impoverished and has just had major heart surgery had a herd of cows of which a couple were collapsed and dying. On arrival, the farmer was almost in tears when telling me about the state of his cows (totally about 12 in all) and was worried they had been poisoned. The big cow I first examined had been collapsed for two days in the heat of the Mexican sun and was very much in deaths door. I did my best to drip it, get some drugs into it and get it up, but I couldn’t get it on it’s feet and I suspect its chances of making through the night are slim. I gave it lots of pain killer to ease it’s suffering and the plan is to head back first thing tomorrow morning and see how it is. I also treated another collapsed cow but had a lot more success in getting it up and about. My gut feeling is that rather than poison, these cows are simply starving and the farmer is simply destitute with nowhere to go. I‘m going to help him as much as I can and the grand plan is to take him some food tomorrow morning for his animals. I can’t put my finger on any sort of poison or infectious cause but will have to have a review of things shortly.

The final stretch of the day was to treat a few other cases at the shelter that needed a hand. They went fine and then it was time for a fantastic family meal with Agatha, Alberto, Pablo and Daniela – really nice to eat out in their garden and has definitely re-energised me ready for tomorrow!


Short and Concise

by Adam the Cameraman, in Malawi
20th April, 2009
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Leg amputated from a dog. Leopard darted, examined and fondled. Python man-handled and prodded. Massive thunderstorm. We got lost again… (It was definitely Adam’s fault and not Marc’s, Luke’s or my own for giving the wrong directions). Long day.

And up early tomorrow despite us all being absolutely shattered.

Aerials over Kafue National Park

by Adam the Cameraman, in Zambia
1st October, 2009
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Spent the day in a helicopter filming aerials over the park with a Cineflex. Incredible. It was like watching a 3D of Planet earth!

We had just under two hours of flying time to get everything that we needed to film. Everything had to be planned with the Pilot, with Dave the Cineflex operator, Luke, the elephant orphanage, the park rangers etc.


We started by filming Luke and James from the elephant orphanage, driving around, stopping and looking at wildlife, then we turned off and filmed some wilder beasts and zebras, which were running around like headless chickens, one way this and one way that. Despite being quite high up, the noise of the chopper was disturbing the animals. We couldn’t go any higher as the helicopter was to heavy and the winds were too strong.


We spotted a herd of elephants alongside the road to the airstrip; there were about a hundred or so. It was incredible. To think the amount of times we had driven along that road knowing there were elephants there, yet  we couldn’t spot them for the dense burnt trees.

Once we had elephants in the can, we veered north towards the lake. The idea was to head towards where we had filmed the dead buffaloes, but fuel was going fast and we didn’t want to miss out filming Luke at the elephant orphanage.  So we circled around and got some shots of some hippos ducking into the water, some impala’s and buffalo and headed back south to the elephant orphanage.


When you’re up in the air over the park you begin realize its size. It stretches for miles in to the horizon. absolutely stunning. What a privilege to have been able to do and see that!


First Contact

by Adam the Cameraman, in Uganda
7th December, 2009
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It was great to be back on a Vet Adventures trip. I had to miss Peru and Nepal as I was busy on another project, but I was in safe hands as Simon the Cameraman did a great job.
First day of shooting meant catching a small speedboat from Entebbe over Lake Victoria to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, where Luke was to experience the great work being done by the team who rescue, rehabilitate and return chimpanzees back into the wild.

That morning the skies had opened and it had rained cats and dogs, with a few rumbles of thunder and a lightning strike on our hotel!! By the time we were on the one and a half hour speed boat cruise over the lake the sun had burnt off the dark clouds and we were all excited on the prospect of filming chimpanzees for the first time.

Lawrence, the manager of the project, showed us around the sanctuary; we filmed Luke feeding the chimps from a platform and then enter one of the enclosures and met some of the young chimpanzees that had still to be introduced into the larger community of adult chimpanzees.

Not having filmed chimps before I wasn’t sure what they would do to us and the camera for that matter. Despite them being young, between 2 to 5 years of age, they definitely packed a punch and have sharp fangs to boot!

As time went on we got more comfortable to the surroundings and the chimps seemed to warm to us, especially the smallest one Rambo, aptly named as he tore around, throwing himself onto everyone, slapping each one of us on the back of our legs as he raced past. A real “cheeky monkey”!

Before any primatologist decides to scold me, I must remind everyone that chimps are not monkeys, they are primates.

The bright red sun descended behind lake Victoria as millions and millions of fruit bats came out of a distant forest covering the sky in small dots. What a spectacular end to a great day.

Muggings in the Mist

by Adam the Cameraman, in Uganda
8th December, 2009
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What a morning!!! Lawrence the manager gave us a 6am morning wake-up call; after having spent most of the night awake listening to the frogs, the pelting rain and thunder, waking up was the last thing I wanted to do.

It was our last day on the island and we had a lot to pack in. There was the walk through the forest with the young chimps we had filmed the day before, then Luke and Lawrence had a couple of cases with some poorly chimps before heading back to Entebbe at 1pm.

Just as we were about to enter the forest, wooosh!! Rain lashed down. Serious rain. Really, really wet rain. Within a couple of minutes we were soaked through and the chimpanzees weren’t liking it either. Six of us (4 crew and rangers) stood under a tree shivering, wondering whether to go back or not. My camera, despite it being covered was getting seriously wet and I was concerned that if it stayed out any longer it might damage it, which can happen and I didn’t want to jeopardize the rest of the shoot. I took the camera and the rest of the kit back to our tents, changed clothes and picked up my lumix pocket camera, which I had only bought two months before.

We joined the rest of the gang in the forest and proceeded to go on our little hike together with the chimpanzee’s who were merrily following us, getting up to tricks, making a nuisance of themselves and for a couple of them who were really lazy, getting piggy back rides. It was at this moment that I saw Luke giving a particularly heavy chimp a lift on his back, so I took out my pocket camera, put it on video mode and started to film him, but before I knew it, this hand came in and quick as a flash, snatched the camera out of my hands and then legged it off into the bushes. Nooooo! My £250 camera!! In the hands of a chimp!! What was I going to do!! As soon as I saw it banging it against a tree trunk, I knew I had no chance of getting out of there alive. It wasn’t until we got back over an hour later that one of the rangers managed to bribe the chimp with a banana that I got my smashed camera back.

YoYo the chimp did actually manage to take a picture of himself/ herself. This is it. Pretty good, eh?


by Adam the Cameraman, in Uganda
12th December, 2009
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Driving in Uganda can be perilous, with truks and taxi vans bombing it at top speed, overtaking on dangerous corners, you always have to have your beady little eye out when you drive.

On the way up to the Rhino Sanctuary there is a stretch of roadworks which runs for about 20 kms. To curb these crazy drivers killing any of the labourers, the “road think tank” have decided to build bumps every twenty metres along the whole stretch of road, making it possibly one of the most annoying and uncomfortable drives I have ever experienced.