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News Mar 25, 2011 - 5:58 AM

Born To Be Wild coming soon

By Maritime Aquarium

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Baby elephants at Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s elephant orphanage in Kenya play soccer as a form of physical enrichment in a scene from “Born to Be Wild,” a new IMAX movie opening April 8 at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
Norwalk, CT - Take a heartwarming journey across the world to cheer on orphaned orangutans and elephants – and the people who rescue them – in “Born to Be Wild,” a new family-friendly IMAX movie opening Fri., April 8 in The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

With a film about baby elephants and orangutans, the cuteness factor will barely fit inside Connecticut’s largest IMAX theater, with a screen that’s six stories high and eight stories wide, said Chris Loynd, the Aquarium’s marketing director.

Show times April 8-15 are at noon and 1, 2, 3 & 6 p.m. daily. Show times April 16-24 are 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 p.m. daily. And from April 25-May 26, “Born to Be Wild” will play at noon and 1, 2 & 3 p.m. daily. (Call ahead to confirm times or text TMA to 71297.)

Academy Award®-winning actor Morgan Freeman narrates the film, which journeys into the lush rain forests of Borneo with orangutan expert Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas and across the rugged Kenyan savannah with elephant authority Dame Daphne Sheldrick. An inspiring story of love, dedication and the remarkable bond between humans and animals, “Born to Be Wild” shows that these women’s rescue and rehabilitation centers are places where endangered species are being saved, one life at a time.

Orangutan populations are falling, primarily because of loss of habitat but they’re also hunted for food, for perceived threats to property and for capture in the illegal pet trade. Dr. Galdikas has been studying orangutans since 1971, when, as a graduate student, she met famed Kenyan paleontologist Louis Leakey and – along with Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey – became one of “Leakey’s Angels,” doing groundbreaking field studies of primates. In 1986, she founded Orangutan Foundation International (OFI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of orangutans and their rain-forest habitat. OFI continues to operate an orangutan research area within Borneo’s Tanjung Puting National Park.

A 3-year-old orangutan hangs loose at Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas’ Camp Leakey, located in Indonesian Borneo, in a scene from “Born to Be Wild,” a new IMAX movie opening April 8 at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
Like human babies, orangutan babies need a lot of care. In “Born to Be Wild,” Galdikas and her team care for orangutans from infant to teenager. Audiences will see how humans act as surrogate orangutan parents, teaching the orphans skills they will need to survive on their own in the wild. The film offers a unique opportunity to share in a dramatic and emotional moment as two orangutans are encouraged to leave their human foster parents behind, once again taking their rightful place in the jungle.

In Africa, poaching of adult elephants for their valuable ivory tusks often leaves their young unable to fend for themselves. A native of Kenya, Dame Daphne Sheldrick was just 3 years old when she adopted her first wild orphan, a baby bushbuck antelope. In 1955, she married conservationist David Sheldrick, who created the giant Tsavo National Park from virgin bush. Over the decades, Dame Daphne has raised and rehabilitated orphans of many different wild species, and is the first person to have perfected the milk formula and husbandry necessary for infant elephants and rhinos. She remains chairman of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

“Born to Be Wild” shows how Sheldrick and her staff help orphaned baby elephants learn the social skills they will need to once again become part of a herd family. Elephants need strong social interaction and support. Sheldrick’s trainers each care for a single baby elephant at a time, even to the point of sleeping with their adopted orphan. As the elephants mature, they are greeted and accepted by a herd of adult elephants, many of them once orphans themselves.

Drew Fellman, writer and producer of “Born to Be Wild,” called spending so much time among orphaned elephants and orangutans “a life-changing experience.”

“And IMAX makes it possible to share that wonder with the audience in a very profound way that takes us directly into the lives and struggles of these amazing animals,” he said.

IMAX movies can do that because their crystal clear images, laser-aligned digital sound and maximized field of view combine to create the world’s most immersive movie experience.

Music for the film was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, lead singer of the ’70s new wave rock band Devo who has since gone on to score more than 70 film and television projects.

The Warner Bros. film is 40 minutes long. It was produced by IMAX Filmed Entertainment and distributed by IMAX Corporation and Warner Bros. Pictures.

Tickets for “Born to Be Wild” in the Aquarium’s IMAX Theater are $9 for adults, $8 for seniors 65+ and $6.50 for children 2-12. Maritime Aquarium members receive $2 discounts. To include Aquarium admission, tickets are $19.45 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and $14.45 for children.

View the film’s trailer – and purchase tickets in advance – on the Aquarium’s website:

For more information about The Maritime Aquarium’s IMAX movies, exhibits and other offerings this spring, call (203) 852-0700 or go online to

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