earthrise looks at protecting wildlife and preventing pandemics through the stories of two endangered mammals which have been investigated for links to COVID-19.
Covid-19 is just one of many illnesses that have spilled over to us from wildlife. Its exact origins are unknown but investigations have been carried out into the likes of bats and pangolins. Some species of these mammals are amongst the one million plants and animals threatened with extinction.
We look at efforts to save them before it’s too late. In southern India, locals are safeguarding the only remaining home of one critically endangered bat. In Vietnam we meet the conservationists rehabilitating trafficked pangolins. And disease ecologist, Jonathan Epstein, explains how our encroachment on nature is making another outbreak “almost guaranteed”.
With films made by Untamed Planet in India and MDI in Vietnam, and images of birds in Qatar by Raytography Services, this programme is a call to protect our fellow creatures on Earth as if our own lives depend on it. As Covid-19 has shown us, they do.