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Award-winning British journalist and presenter Aaron ‘Bertie’ Gekoski (left) and Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) acting manager Dr Diana Ramirez. Pic by NSTP/IZHARI ARIFFIN

KOTA KINABALU: Following a positive reception, Borneo Wildlife Warriors – an online series focusing on Sabah’s wildlife rangers – will premier its second season next week.

Kick starting August 16, the weekly web-series brought by leading south east Asia’s production and photography company Scubazoo will feature efforts to care and rescue sun bears, Bornean pygmy elephants and orangutans at Sabah’s east coast this time.

The new six-episode series will continue featuring award-winning British journalist and presenter Aaron ‘Bertie’ Gekoski who hosted the first series, picking up from his bootcamp at Sabah west coast’s operations (Lok Kawi Wildlife Park) and moving to more intense activities while based at Sepilok in Sandakan.

“When I tell people back home that I rescued elephants, they said ‘woah’ - they think it is so much fun.

“But it is not; it is hard work and this second season we will go out on more extreme activities like catching and relocating a bull elephant.

“After spending a decade in Africa and coming to Asia, I can say this is the single most hard core thing I had to do,” Bertie shared on his experience while making the series during a press conference here.

It gave him a glimpse of how hard life is for wildlife rangers where they spent a week chasing after and catching the bull elephant trapped inside a large plantation, which he described as an intelligent animal that ‘kept darting away from us’.

“Once, we got separated from the group and got lost for 12 hours in the jungle with no phone for communication or food.

“The best part after our operation is done and we came back exhausted, we were asked to go out again to get an orangutan and its baby trapped and malnourished in another palm oil plantation,” he added.

Asked if he would do it all over again given the chance, Bertie replied in a definite yes – which echoes the tagline of the series, ‘Because the Jungle is Worth Fighting For’.

Meanwhile, Kota Kinabalu-based Scubazoo operations director Terence Lim said they are looking for local presenters with a passion for wildlife and story telling that could do hosting jobs like Bertie.

“It would be great if we have a local ‘Bertie’ who could highlight our own conservation efforts and we welcomed those interested (to contact us),’ he added.

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