In The Realm Of The Red Ape
Tropical rainforests are one of the oldest habitats on the face of our earth - older than many of the stars. The first programme in the Wild Asia series is set in the tropics of Asia and explores a small area of rainforest in Northern Sumatra. This forest is the realm of our central character, Asia's largest ape, the orangutan, dubbed the "Red Ape" in honor of its orange-colored coat. For the last five years an Indonesian/ British research team have been studying a group of orangutans in this swampy area of rainforest. Their work is the basis of this film.
The film explores the very special relationship that this group of orangutans have with the forest in which they live. A forest that is itself, like a huge organism. The forest breathes in rain and expels oxygen. The canopy of the forest is like a skin. Beneath it, the forest floor is like the gut. Everything ends up here, dead animals, leaves, seeds and droppings and eventually it will all be recycled.
In The Realm Of The Red Ape opens with the unique sounds of a primate dawn chorus and follows the red apes through their day as they interact with the forest. It explores the special relationships of the forest as a living organism. It ends as the orangutans settle for a night in the nests they build for themselves in the trees. Each night a new tree, each night a new nest.