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Gorongosa Park: Rebirth of Paradise (2015)—MozambiqueGorongosa Park: Rebirth of Paradise (2015)—Mozambique

At over a million acres, the Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique is one of the largest and richest ecosystems on earth — that is, until the country's decades of civil war almost destroyed it all.  The elephant population crashed from 4,000 to 400, the lions from 200 to single digits.  This PBS nature documentary tells the remarkable story of the 20-year Gorongosa Restoration Project.  The Emmy Award winning wildlife cameraman Bob Poole lived and worked in Gorongosa for two years.  He not only filmed the project, he was also an active participant along with the scientists, conservationists, and park rangers.  As you would expect, the cinematography is incredible, and the stories are inspirational, in particular those of the resourceful and dedicated park rangers, and also Poole's personal story (he grew up in Kenya).  The documentary consists of six episodes on two DVDs, with each episode about an hour long.  The first one, for example, tries to answer a troubling question — why the lion population isn't recovering as quickly as experts think it should.  To learn about that, they attach GPS tracking collars to lions.  The other five episodes are Elephant Whisperer, New Blood, Hidden Worlds, Battle Lines, and Roaring Back.  Poole's narration is pitched at a simple level, making this fantastic for family viewing.  I got my copy of this movie at the public library.  To learn more, see

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