last trimate, the

Narrated by Mel Gibson, The Last Trimate is a compelling account of the work of Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas, who along with the other ‘Trimates’, Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, has dedicated her life to studying the great apes of the world.

programme information


1 x 60'

Production Company

Fork Films Pty Ltd





Episode Information

In the late 60s, legendary anthropologist Louis Leakey appointed three women to study and care for the great apes of the world, the Trimates: Dian Fossey was asked to study the gorillas, and her murder by poachers led to the film Gorillas in the Mist; Jane Goodall was allocated chimpanzees and, to this day, travels the world raising funds and awareness; and Biruté Galdikas was sent to Borneo to document orang-utans. Thirty-five years later Biruté is still there, based in Camp Leakey, and is responsible for the longest study of an animal species by a single person ever conducted. Biruté is the least recognised of the three women, yet her crusade is no less compelling. This film is a compelling account of her work, and her lifelong fight to save the diminishing world of Indonesia’s wild orang-utans. While the documentary is a strong indictment of humanity’s unwavering desire to grow and prosper in spite of mounting environmental damage, it also offers hope that these unique mammals may just survive the destruction of their world.

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