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Born to be Wild 3D Opens at IMAX on April 8th

3/31/2011 6:08:55 PM

BORN TO BE WILD in 3D is an inspiring story of love, dedication and the remarkable bond between humans and animals. This film, narrated by Academy-Award® winner Morgan Freeman, documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them—saving endangered species one life at a time. This heartwarming adventure transports moviegoers into the lush rainforests of Borneo and across the rugged Kenyan savannah with celebrated animal experts as they and their teams rescue, rehabilitate and return these incredible animals back to the wild.

A baby orangutan enjoys life in Born to be Wild 3D.

Above: As featured in the IMAX® film Born to be Wild 3D, an infant orangutan takes a moment to enjoy the finer things in life. Photo copyright ©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Photo: Drew Fellman

Below: As seen in the IMAX® film Born to be Wild 3D, orphaned baby elephants need blankets to keep them warm. Photo copyright ©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Photo: Drew Fellman

Orphaned baby elephants, like these seen in Born to be Wild 3D, need blankets to keep warm.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               Contact: Thom Benson 423-785-3007
“Born to be Wild 3D” Swings onto the Giant IMAX® Screen April 8th
Meet Baby Orangutans and Baby Elephants Face to Face

Chattanooga, Tenn. (March 31, 2011) - There is a playful innocence within baby animals that is universally captivating. But when people see the faces of baby elephants and orangutans in “Born to be Wild 3D,” they experience more than just a lighthearted mood. They feel a strong connection to these charismatic creatures. “Orangutans are mostly solitary creatures; they’re thinkers and very independent,” said Drew Fellman, Born to be Wild 3D writer and producer. “Elephants are emotional, highly social and family oriented. We humans have both those instincts so, in a way, elephants and orangutans represent two distinct sides of human nature.”

There is of course another side to human nature - nurturing. And Born to be Wild 3D, which opens at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater on April 8th, takes audiences on a heart-warming adventure into the lush rainforests of Borneo and across the rugged savannah of Kenya to meet two women who have dedicated their lives to rescuing, raising and saving these endangered animals one at a time.

Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas began working with orangutans in 1971. A small research outpost evolved into Orangutan Foundation International (OFI), a rescue and conservation organization for the only great apes living in Asia. “Orangutans are on the verge of extinction as their habitat continues to be disrupted by poaching, illegal logging and palm oil plantations,” said Dr. Galdikas. “They have become refugees in their own land.”

In the Malay language, orangutan means person of the forest. Viewers will soon understand why. The toddler-aged orangutans in Born to be Wild 3D exhibit human-like qualities. At times they behave both unpredictably comical and mischievous. But Fellman is particularly proud of the fact that no trained animals appear in the film. “Every animal featured is either totally wild, a rehabilitant now living wild, or a young orphan being prepared for its release.”

Baby orangutans cling to their mother’s body for the first year of life and they will not venture away from their mothers until they are nearly eight years old. So human caretakers tasked with raising these orphans become surrogate mothers. “When you watch the keepers with these little babies and see their genuine affection for each other, then you really start to understand the extraordinary bond that’s developed,” said Fellman.

On another continent, half a world away, baby elephants are getting a similar head start in life.

Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick established an orphanage for elephants on the edge of the Nairobi National Park in Kenya. Since its inception, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (TDSWT) has hand-reared more than 130 baby elephants and reintroduced them to their native habitat. In a land with frequent wars, many adult elephants fall victim to ivory poachers. “The pressure on the African wildlife population has been an ongoing situation for 100 years,” said Dame Daphne.

Filming at the elephant nursery focused not only on the babies but on their male keepers who, like the orangutan caregivers, serve as their surrogate family. Audiences witness the great lengths the keepers go through such as tucking the elephants in at night and sleeping beside them. They will also see elephant enrichment activities that were fun for animals, keepers and the film crew. “We were able to film this crazy soccer game with three balls bouncing around, elephants trumpeting, people hooting and hollering, and dust flying up,” said David Lickley, director of Born to be Wild 3D. “There are obviously no rules, but everyone was having a great time.”

Academy-Award® winning actor Morgan Freeman narrates the film and was amazed by the heroic stories of both women. “They have well-run organizations set up to do this work and the totality of the investment they’ve made grabbed me,” said Freeman. “When one out of a million people steps up and says, ‘I’ll take responsibility, I’ll do this,’ it shows an enormous amount of courage and a real dedication to life.”

Born to be Wild 3D turns movie-goers into virtual caretakers of these amazing animals, placing viewers in the middle of this fun-filled adventure. “There is an immediacy to IMAX 3D, said Lickley. “You’re engulfed. If you can’t be in the wild, this is the next best thing.”

Born to be Wild 3D premieres Friday, April 8th, 2011 on the giant, six-story screen at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater. For more information, or to purchase tickets online, go to: .


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