My tryst with King cobras began whilst hanging out with Rom Whitaker the renowned snake guru / pambu dorai from India. It was the start of his long-term work on King Cobras in the Western Ghats. I had never seen a king cobra even after a decade of hiking and camping in various parts of the Western Ghats. This was an opportunity for me to get close and experience these animals first-hand safely beside an experienced person.
We met in the field somewhere close to Sakleshpur in an estate known as KaaduMane. He was there with a team from Icon Films led by Harry Marshall. It was a shoot for BBC Natural World titled “King Cobra and I.” The story was about Rom’s personal saga with the world’s largest venomous snake.
My introduction was nothing short of awe-inspiring!
A few years later Rom called asking if I’d be interested in taking on a full one-hour documentary about king cobras for National Geographic. He had just started the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station and was about to embark on the first-ever attempt to radio-tag King Cobras in order to learn more about what they do, how far they go and their interactions in the wild. My small crew and I set up camp in Agumbe for nearly six months. In that fairly short period of time we were able to film for the first time in the wild – a pair of courting king cobras, mating, male combat and finally cannibalism. This was the first documentary about these snakes ever made that all this was shot in the wild.
Join Sandesh Kadur as he goes on a mission to document the natural and cultural treasures of the Eastern Himalaya. For years this region was considered too volatile, too dangerous, to allow outsiders. As a result, very little was known of the wildlife and people of this region. In this series of short films, Sandesh Kadur a wildlife photographer and filmmaker with a passion for conservation explores these remote regions on a quest to document some of the rare inhabitants from golden langurs to clouded leopards in a hitherto unseen region of India.
An international team of photographers gathered on the island of Sulawesi for a Tripods in the Mud photographic expedition in partnership with the Alliance for Tompotika Conservation / Aliansi Konservasi Tompotika (AlTo). Joining the effort were ILCP Fellows Sandesh Kadur (India), and Kevin Schafer (USA), joined by Riza Marlon, a well-known Indonesian wildlife photographer. The mission focused on documenting biodiversity on the Tompotika Peninsula, a remote area in central Sulawesi, which, like much of Indonesia, is under threat from widespread habitat loss, uncontrolled hunting, and natural resource extraction.
Mount Tompotika rises to 1600 meters at the eastern tip of the central peninsula of the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Rich in tropical forests and surrounded by coral reefs, Sulawesi is also home to thousands of plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world. Using sound science and creative methods, AlTo works directly with local Tompotikans and their government to effectively conserve Tompotika’s natural heritage.
The images gathered on this expedition will be used by AlTo to create awareness of their work to protect habitat, and to highlight the need for creation of a new forest reserve on the slopes of Mt. Tompotika, the highest peak in the region. Camera traps set in the forest captured endemic primates and rarely seen animals, while considerable effort was made to capture the breeding cycle of the endangered Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo) – a bird which lays its eggs to be incubated in the hot sands of the coastal beaches. Protection of the Maleo is a key AlTo program.
The Alliance for Tompotika Conservation / Aliansi Konservasi Tompotika (AlTo) is an international partnership of individuals and communities formed to build a better world, starting in one special place: the lands and waters surrounding Mount Tompotika, Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Support Alliance for Tompotika Conservation / Aliansi Konservasi Tompotika