For the past six days, Doc Ferds and his team have been on the dragon hunt. Traces of the newly discovered lizard species called bitatawa have been found; from the fruit that it eats to the marks on the bark of the tree. With the help of reptile expert Daniel Bennett, the team has already documented proof of the bitatawa’s ways in the jungle. But footage of its behavior in the wild is still missing.
By the tenth day, the team is out of supplies and out of time. But they don’t give up on the mission. They are determined not to go home without capturing footage of a rare reptile. Changing their tactics, Doc Ferds and the team make a bold move and take a U-turn to Polillo Island, home of another rare and endangered reptile – the butaan, known as the closest relative of the bitatawa.
The butaan, another giant fruit-eating lizard endemic in the Philippines is, according to studies, very similar to the bitatawa in terms of physical appearance, behavior and even DNA. Doc Ferds and the team camouflage in the forest for hours, waiting for the reptile to feed on a Pandan tree. They end up filming a rare moment in nature when the butaan, whose footage has been attempted by international wildlife channels, gives the team the break they’ve been waiting for.
Meanwhile, Kiko Rustia and the researchers’ checklist of humpback shots are almost complete—blows, flukes, dorsal fins, breaches and whale songs have been recorded. Now all they need is the perfect shot – the closest possible encounter with the giant humpbacks – to cap the mission. But while reviewing their footage, the team realizes they might have filmed something very special in the wild – footage of a mother humpback and possibly, a calf or baby whale! Could this be the first visual of a Philippine-born humpback?
The study is on its final stretch when suddenly the team faces danger. A humpback whale, double the size of a bus, is only five meters away from their boat. This is the closest sighting according to the researchers. But this too could be the most dangerous. A humpback this size could easily capsize a boat once it goes on breach position.
Don’t miss the surprising and unforgettable finale of the BORN TO BE WILD Expeditions, this Wednesday, after Saksi, on GMA-7!