Friday, 12 February 2010

Spain's Attenborough: Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente

You may never have heard of him, but Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente was the Spanish-speaking world's equivalent of David Attenborough - or would be if he hadn't died in a plane crash while shooting one of his many animal documentaries in Alaska on his birthday thirty years ago on Sunday. Born in 1928, Rodríguez de la Fuente, was a pioneer naturalist at a time when the environmental movement had not yet caught on in Spain. A physician by trade and a biologist by nature, his influence soon spread throughout the world and in many aspects is still present today. He was perhaps best known for his highly successful series El Hombre y la Tierra (1974-1980). His many documentaries were translated into languages that ranged from Japanese to Polish, reaching some 700 million viewers (See sample below).>

Félix was knowledgeably self-taught in falconry and ethology, principally in his love of wolves, which became apparent when he filmed himself living among a wild pack. The above is the presentation of his series on wolves. Among many things, he says that wolves have a very bad press in Spain, like the tiger in Asia or he lion in Africa.

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