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Last Chance to See
1989 BBC radio documentary series with Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine

Last Chance to See is a 1989 BBC radio documentary series and its accompanying book, written and presented by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine. In the series, Adams and Carwardine travel to various locations in the hope of encountering species on the brink of extinction. Carwardine was reported to have said: "We put a big map of the world on a wall, Douglas stuck a pin in everywhere he fancied going, I stuck a pin in where all the endangered animals were, and we made a journey out of every place that had two pins." The book was published in 1990.

Additional music by Steven Faux. Produced by Chris Muir. Series producer Gaynor Shutte.

1. Ralph, the Fragrant Parrot of Codfish Island. He is large, green and has forgotten how to fly, which is worrying as there are fewer than 50 kakapos left.

2. Gone Fishing! What the Chinese believe to be the reincarnation of a drowned princess is, of course, the Yangtze River dolphin.

3. Animal, Vegetable or Mineral? Our heroes are to be found in the backwaters of the Amazon, searching for a creature that cannot make up its mind whether it is animal, vegetable or mineral. It's a totally harmless, somewhat stupid mammal called the manatee.

4. The Answer Is Blowing in the Wind. The Rodrigues fruit bat is a noisy, randy, sociable creature, whose numbers are declining due mainly to the fact that it spends most of its time hanging around in trees in the middle of a cyclone belt. At regular intervals it is blown into oblivion somewhere over the Indian Ocean.

5. A Man-Eating, Evil-Smelling Dragon. The Komodo dragon will rip your arm off as soon as look at you. Deceptively fast, they have been known to have their quota of humans. The evil smell comes from the chronic cases of halitosis, brought on by a mouthful of extremely noxious bacteria.

6. The Sultan of Juan Fernandez. Last in the series. The Southern Fur Seals on Juan Fernandez Island, off the coast of Chile, which were embarrassingly easy to find.

  1. Ralph, The Fragrant Parrot of Codfish Island (40Mb)
  2. Gone Fishing (40.1Mb)
  3. Animal, Vegetable or Mineral? (40.1Mb)
  4. The Answer is Blowing in the Wind (40.6Mb)
  5. A Man-Eating, Evil-Smelling Dragon (36.7Mb)
  6. The Sultan Of Juan Fernandez (40.5Mb)

MP3 files hosted by archive.org.