Attenborough’s Ark

9:00pm Friday 9 November on BBC TWO

David Attenborough chooses the 10 endangered animals from around the world that he’d most like to save from extinction. Tigers and pandas hit the headlines but for David it’s the unusual ones that interest him.

In Attenborough’s Ark, David explains why these animals are so important, and highlights the ingenious work of biologists across the world who are helping to keep them alive.

His top 10 includes Darwin’s frog – the only frog in the world where the male gives birth to its young. There is also the olm – a salamander that can live to a hundred.

There’s also the Sumatran rhino – the smallest and most threatened species of rhino. David tells the story of the first-ever Sumatran rhino to be born in captivity in Asia. After years of failed attempts, a male Sumatran rhino was born at Cincinnati zoo. He was sent to Sumatra, where he was matched up with a native female. The result was a historic baby, which gives hope to the rest of the species.

In Jersey, David introduces his favourite monkey – the mischievous black lion tamarin – which is being bred successfully at Durrell Wildlife Park.

David’s other unusual ‘passengers’ include the solenodon – an ancient mammal; the northern quoll – a charismatic marsupial at risk from cane toads; marvellous spatuletail – a rare hummingbird; the Sunda pangolin, whose scaly armour is made of keratin; Priam’s birdwing butterfly – the largest on Earth; and Venus’s flower basket – a marine animal made entirely from silica.

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