Alan Root is one of the great wildlife pioneers. He has been mauled by a leopard, a silverback gorilla and a hippo, and almost lost his life to a deadly puff-adder. Root’s unmatched experience of East African wildlife and his appetite for risk have made him a world-class naturalist and film-maker. In Ivory, Apes & Peacocks, Alan tells the story of his life’s work, from his arrival in Kenya as a young boy (furious at having to leave behind Britain’s birds) to the making of his game-changing films. Instead of sticking to the Big Five animals, he looked up close at whole ecosystems – baobab trees, termite mounds, natural springs – and involved firsts such as tracking the wildebeest migration from a balloon, then flying it over Kilimanjaro, filming inside a hornbill’s nest and diving with hippos and crocodiles. Along the way we meet Sally the pet hippo and Emily the house-proud chimp, watch as Dian Fossey catches sight of her first mountain gorilla and have sundowners with George and Joy Adamson. And here, too, is Joan Root, Alan’s wife and collaborator for over 30 years, who was brutally murdered in retaliation for her environmental campaigning. With Alan we look at Africa’s wonders through the eyes of a visionary and bear witness to a natural world now largely lost from view.
Alan Root was born in London in 1937 but moved to Kenya as a young boy. He dropped out of school at 16 but soon found himself behind the camera. He married Joan Thorpe in 1961 and together they produced an array of award-winning wildlife films including Baobab: Portrait of a Tree, commissioned by David Attenborough, Safari by Balloon, The Year of the Wildebeest and Castles of Clay, which was nominated for an Oscar. Alan has won over 60 awards during his career, including an Emmy, three Lifetime Achievement Awards an OBE. He now lives on the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya.
If you would like to subscribe to our RSS Comments feed, please click on the orange XML logo below (click here to read more about our RSS feeds).
** Should you wish to retract a comment, or if you experience technical difficulties, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We reserve the right to delete posts containing offensive language or content.