A year project following Mark, Douglas Adams and Stephen Fry on two Last Chance to See offers a uniquely hilarious but thought-provoking insight into. Last Chance to See is a BBC radio documentary series and its accompanying book, written and presented by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine. In the  ‎Radio · ‎Book · ‎CD ROM · ‎Television series. About Last Chance to See. New York Times bestselling author Douglas Adams and zoologist Mark Carwardine take off around the world in search of exotic.


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His previous car, which I had borrowed for the weekend, had been written off by a buffalo. It was all very embarrassing.


Heartbeats in douglas adams last chance to see Night[ edit ] Not only has the kakapo forgotten how to fly, but it has forgotten that it has forgotten how to fly. When the thudding blades of the helicopter are finally still the spacious murmur of the valley gradually rises to fill the silence There is one sound, however, that we know we are not going to hear — not just because we have arrived at the wrong time of day, but because we have arrived in the wrong year.


There will be no more right years. Until Fiordland was the home of one of the strangest, most unearthly sounds in the world.

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For thousands of years, in the right season, the sound could be heard after nightfall throughout these wild peaks and valleys. It was like a heartbeat: It was so deep that some people will tell you they felt it stirring in their gut before they could discern the actual sound, a sort of wump, a heavy wobble of air.

Most people have never heard it at all, or ever will again. It was the sound of the kakapothe old night parrot of New Zealand, douglas adams last chance to see high on a rocky promontory and calling for a mate.

A good-sized adult will weigh about six or seven pounds, and its wings are just about good for waggling a bit if it thinks it's about to trip over something — but flying is out of the question.

Sadly, however, it seems that not only has the kakapo forgotten how to fly, but it has forgotten that it has forgotten how to fly. Apparently a seriously worried kakapo will douglas adams last chance to see run up a tree and jump out of it, whereupon it flies like a brick and lands in a graceless heap on the ground.

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The millennia crawl by pretty bloody slowly while natural selection sifts its way through generation after generation, favouring the odd aberrant kakapo that's douglas adams last chance to see little twitchier than its contemporaries till the species as a whole finally gets the idea.

It would all be cut short in a moment if one of them could say, "When you see one of those things with whiskers and little bitey teeth, run like hell.


I've heard a tape of collected kakapo noises, and it's almost impossible to believe that it all just comes from a bird, or indeed any kind of animal. Pink Floyd studio out-takes perhaps, but not a parrot. The kakapo's persnickety dietary requirements are a whole other area of exasperating difficulty.

It makes me tired just to think of them, so I think we'll pass quickly over all that. Imagine being an airline steward trying to serve meals to a plane full douglas adams last chance to see Muslims, Jews, vegetarians, vegans and diabetics when all you've got is turkey because it's Christmas time, and that will give you the idea.


As if things aren't difficult enough already, the female [kakapo] can only come into breeding condition when a particular plant, the podocarp for instance, is bearing fruit.

This only happens every two years. The males, therefore, get extremely overwrought sitting in their bowls douglas adams last chance to see noises for months on end, waiting for their mates who are waiting for a particular type of tree to fruit.

When one of the rangers who was working in an area where kakapos were booming happened to leave his hat on the ground, he came back later to find a kakapo attempting to ravish it.

On another occasion the discovery of some ruffled possum fur in the mating area suggested that a kakapo had made another alarming mistake, an experience which douglas adams last chance to see unlikely to have been satisfying to either party.

Codfish Island was infested with feral cats.

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