________________ CM . . . . Volume VII Number 3 . . . . October 6, 2000

cover Giant Sea Turtles. (Champions of the Wild Series).

Gary Marcuse (Director). Christian Bruyere (Producer). Michael Chechik (Executive Producer).
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 1998.
25 min., 30 sec., VHS, $39.95.
Order Number: C9198 147.

Subject Headings:
Endangered species.
Wildlife conservation-Guyana.
Sea turtles.

Grades 5 and up / Ages 10 and up.

Review by Ruth McMahon.

**.5 /4

The video's title suggests an in-depth look at the life of the Giant Sea Turtle when, in fact, the series title is more indicative of the subject matter - a look at the work of Peter Pritchard, Giant Sea Turtle protector. The video focuses on Pritchard's work with his Amerindian partner, Audley James, to save the Leatherback Turtles of Guyana. They have worked together to reduce the number of turtles that are hunted and the number of nests that are raided.
    The female Giant Sea Turtle is vulnerable as it leaves the ocean to lay her eggs. It is at this time that the hunters find their easy prey. But, it is also this time of day that Pritchard and James use as an educational opportunity to bring young citizens to view the nesting of the turtles. Later, they return to watch the baby turtles return to the ocean. The hope is that, by building a relationship between the turtles and the youth, these young people will be less likely to hunt the turtles later in life.
    Some information about these ancient creatures (inhabitants of the earth for over one hundred million years) is given, including their weight, length, circulatory system, life-cycle, eating and traveling habits. There is some fantastic footage, underwater and on land, of these turtles. The vulnerability of the turtles makes it easy to film their nesting and the return of the babies to the ocean.
    The informative and helpful liner notes include website addresses and a related video. There is also a series of suggested pre and post viewing questions.
    For a look at the work being undertaken to save the Giant Sea Turtles, Leatherbacks of Guyana, this is an interesting useful video, but it is not bursting with information on the turtles themselves.

Recommended with reservations.

Lethbridge, Alberta's Ruth McMahon fell in love with the Sea Turtles while snorkeling off the shores of Hawaii.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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