Borneo is widely regarded as being home to an absolutely stunning array of wildlife and natural beauty, but as is so often the case around the world, this ecological diversity doesn’t come easy. Facing constant threats, both man-made and environmental, the region’s ecosystem needs almost constant monitoring to keep it alive. Enter the Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU), a dedicated team of conservations tasked with protecting all that Borneo’s animal kingdom has to offer.
Falling under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment of Sabah, the WRU has been protecting Borneo’s wildlife since its launch in 2010 and today employs 229 staff members across the country. And they could be about to take on one more.
The WRU came to the attention of wildlife journalist Aaron ‘Bertie’ Gekoski in 2013 while he was documenting a story about elephants being poisoned for their tusks in Zimbabwe. It was a tale that never left him and, hearing about a similar event at a Bornean palm oil plantation, he decided he had to investigate for himself. The only surviving elephant from the poisoning incident was being cared for by the WRU and, impressed with their work, Gekoski hit upon the idea of producing a web series following their work. Better yet, he wanted to get hands-on with the team and so Borneo’s Wildlife Warriors was born, a series in which Gekoski joins the ranks of the WRU to get a first-hand taste of conservation work in the country.
Online TV channel, SZtv, is producing the series and Geographical is pleased to say we will be bringing you each new episode on a weekly basis. Episode one (above) sets out Gekoski’s introduction to the activities of the WRU, while episode two (below) follows his fledgling application to join the team and his encounter with his most daunting obstacle yet, WRU’s founder, the no-nonsense Dr Sen Nathan.
We’ll have new episodes every Friday as we follow ‘Bertie’ on in his ultimate conservation quest.