Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hato Masaragual, Los Llanos and Orinoco Caiman on BBC

Veteran BBC presenter Jonathan Dimbleby visits Hato Masaguaral, a ranch in the plains of Los LLanos Venezuela, that breeds an endangered species of crocodile commonly know as the Caiman del Orinoco, as part of a BBC series called "South American Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby" that airs on 25 September at 8 p.m.

In the hour-long documentary the broadcaster happily strokes a three day old caiman but the larger ones prove to be more challenging. The breeding males live in cages on their own and can grow up to six metres long.

Killed for fun or for their skins, this crocodile only exists in Colombia and Venezuela. It is critically endangered which is the highest risk category for wild species. This means it's numbers will decrease by 80 per cent within three generations.

Dimbleby also explored the music of Venezuela, visiting the studio of Desorden Publico - a ska band that has been at the top of the charts in Venezuela for over a quarter of a century.
Playing to audiences of up to 150,000 people, Desorden Publico are not mere entertainers but have a profound political purpose invariably challenging the status quo.
As Jonathan stomps his feet to their energetic beat, Horacio Blanco, the lead singer is worried. He tells Jonathan that Chavez's 21st century Socialist revolution has polarised the country.

The full documentary is being shown on BBC 2 at 8 p.m. on 25 September and will be available on the iPlayer for a week after broadcast.

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