Belfast Telegraph

Show offers glimpse of rare reptile

Sir David Attenborough is to reveal the first filmed sighting of a rare reptile from his beloved Galapagos Islands in a new TV series.

The veteran broadcaster caught the pink iguana on film while he worked on his new Sky series Galapagos 3D, and it will be the first time the creature has been seen on screen.

The species was only discovered in recent years, and Sir David said it was a privilege to spot the "Penny Black" of the natural world.

He filmed on the island of Isabela in June last year and his team was led by Dr Gabriele Gentile from Rome's University Tor Vergata as they sought the Conolophus Marthae iguana, which is noted for its unusual pink complexion.

Sir David said: "It's a remarkable thing in this day and age when you think about the number of scientists per square metre in the Galapagos, and yet suddenly we have discovered a new species," he said.

"A little periwinkle or something which nobody has identified before, is one thing, but this is more than that, it's a large pink iguana."

"I used to collect stamps, and this was a Penny Black of the natural world in a very big way."

Also during the series the team became the last to film the last of a species of giant tortoise from the island of Pinta. The creature, known as Lonesome George, died just 10 days after filming and the species is now believed extinct.

"I can't say I was surprised but I was saddened when the news came two weeks after we'd filmed our interview," Sir David said.

The new iguana will feature in the third episode of Galapagos 3D With David Attenborough. The series begins on New Year's Day at 7pm.


From Belfast Telegraph