In life, you do not get many practice runs. The same rule applies to animals in the jungle. David Attenborough captures jungle animals on what seems to me, like suicide missions. We all love these slow-motion clips, where monkeys and frogs leap for their lives between the trees.
I find myself seeking adrenaline-fuelled adventures quite regularly, even now. Attenborough always described Borneo as this ‘hazy green blanket of jungle,’ and I was curious to see this for myself. One memorable morning cruise in a small tin boat on the Kinabatangan river in Borneo, I found myself extremely fortunate. The Proboscis Monkeys that live in the trees along the densely packed river kindly gave me a free exhibition into these suicide practices. I first spotted one brave male monkey casually swinging on his branch. Then, for what felt like a whole minute, I watched this monkey plummet, arms and legs out at all angles, as he crashed down into the crocodile-infested rivers. His friends followed.
Tuning into Planet Earth‘s Jungle, I am fixated, in particular watching the gliding leaf frogs, as they slowly descend using their huge webbed feet as parachutes to slow their falls. These flying frogs are enough to get any child’s imagination racing. “Surely with the use of a few kitchen utensils, I too will be able to land from a raised wall outside my house in slow motion.” I for one have tried this very unsuccessfully.