You can share Bob’s pas­sion

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Stage - Tanya MacNaughton

IT is lit­tle sur­prise Bob Poole be­came a Na­tional Ge­o­graphic cin­e­matog­ra­pher when you hear about his child­hood grow­ing up in West Africa dur­ing the 1960s and 1970s.

“My par­ents were re­ally into ex­plor­ing, be­ing in the wild and they loved na­ture and wildlife,” Poole said.

“As kids, my sis­ters and I spent a lot of time out in the wild do­ing the crazy things my par­ents wanted to do.”

It was Poole’s fa­ther, who was the di­rec­tor of the Peace Corps then African Wildlife Foun­da­tion, who se­cured his son a school hol­i­day job work­ing with game­catch­ers mov­ing buf­falo in north­ern Kenya.

“We used a he­li­copter to dart the buf­falo and one day the he­li­copter pi­lot broke away to fly aeri­als for a Na­tional Ge­o­graphic film crew and asked me to come along with him,” he said.

“The film crew then in­vited me to work with them; I was only 17 years old but my fa­ther had just died in an ac­ci­dent and I don’t know if they were tak­ing pity on me or just look­ing out for me.

“It was my first job for Na­tional Ge­o­graphic and here I am still do­ing it.”

Poole has called Idaho in the north­ern Rocky Moun­tains home for the past 20 years but still spends a lot of his life in Africa where his great­est pas­sion – film­ing ele­phants – is shared with his sis­ter and ele­phant zo­ol­o­gist Dr Joyce Poole.

“Ele­phants are so amaz­ing and so much like us,” he said.

“They live long lives in tight fam­ily bonds with great-grand­moth­ers, grand­moth­ers, mothers and all their ba­bies liv­ing to­gether.

“The males leave when they’re in their mid to late teens but al­ways come back and visit their mothers.

“The fam­ily stays to­gether for­ever and they’re so in­tel­li­gent; they have em­pa­thy for oth­ers and are in­cred­i­bly pow­er­ful, which can make them dan­ger­ous.”

Poole will dis­cuss his lat­est pro­ject, film­ing a six-part se­ries on ele­phants in Mozam­bique’s Goron­gosa Na­tional Park, in Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Live! Na­ture Roars Back at Heath Ledger Theatre on Sun­day, Au­gust 21.

He will share sto­ries and images about his years watch­ing the war-rav­aged Goron­gosa re­ju­ve­nate with wildlife.

Ele­phants of Mozam­bique’s Goron­gosa Na­tional Park.

Bob Poole

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