Stephen Fry was on the telly on Friday night discussing Kakopos. For the uninitiated, these are silly green parrots what live on New Zealand and have forgotten that they cannot fly.
I first heard of them from Douglas Adams. The Observer sent him and a zoologist, Mark Cawardine, to Madagascar to write a Sunday supplement feature of the endangered aye-aye. Adams had such a nice time that (when he'd finished his commitments to Dirk Gently) he and Cawardine then swanned off round the world writing up other endangered species. There was a Radio 4 series, apparently a CD-rom and a book - my favourite of all Adams' efforts. It is amiably, compellingly harrowing. There aren't many other books like that.
Stephen Fry has spent the last year swanning off round the world with Mark Cawardine shooting a TV version of Adams' book. Some of the endangered species Adams saw are are no longer endangered - some have had some more babies, and some are either now or inevitably extinct.
The series will be on later this year, but the official BBC website has some tantalising tasters.
Out Of The Unknown DVD Commentaries
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