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Friday, June 03, 2005

New documentary traces ANWR caribou

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. last night premiered part one of a new documentary called "Being Caribou." The film chronicles the five-month journey of newlyweds Leanne Allison and Karsten Heuer as they track the herd of 120,000 porcupine caribou from central Yukon to their annual calving grounds on the coast of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The second half of the documentary, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, runs next Thursday, June 9.

The couple followed the herd on foot for 1,500 kilometers.
"They let the caribou guide them through a wild and remote landscape, from the central Yukon to coastal Alaska and back. During the five-month journey, they ski and hike across mountains, swim icy rivers, brave Arctic weather and endure hordes of mosquitoes. They survive an encounter with a hungry grizzly bear that forces them to reconcile what it means to be a part of true wilderness. Hunger, fatigue and pain become routine, but the sacrifice is worth it when they witness the miracle of birth just metres from their tent."
It's clearly a unique attempt to portray the migratory life of this herd, which is so integral to ANWR's fate. Sounds like it's worth watching.

Not sure how most of us in the U.S. will do that, but perhaps those with satellite TV service can tune in to the CBC. Copies of the documentary can also be ordered from the NFB's online store or by calling (800) 542-2164. "Being Caribou" is also showing at the Seattle International Film Festival through June 12.

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