In the mid 1990’s, I travelled to Barbados on assignment for a TV series called Champions of the Wild, which told the stories of Canadians working to save endangered animals around the world. My documentary featured vervet monkeys, which were wrecking crops and at risk of being hunted into oblivion.
My crew and I set off to try to find monkeys in the wild, to film their behaviour. For two days, we searched, with no luck. Running out of time (and film), we decided we would sit in a quiet place and see if they would come to us. All morning long, we waited, watching the ants crawl around and over us.
Afraid we’d made a mistake, we were just about to leave when a steady stream of urine rained down on my head. I looked up and it was the matriarch of the local troupe, letting me know that I was in her territory. After another hour, she came down to check me out and eventually turned away to eat a mango, satisfied that I was not a threat.
Once I dried off, we were able to film with that troupe for the rest of the week, ultimately supporting conservation efforts to manage the exploding monkey population.
Trigger – feeling unsuccessful in the proposed assignment
Problem – having no monkeys to film
Quest- to film monkey activity
Resolution- sit and patiently wait
Purpose- to bring attention to the monkey population and behaviour and support conservation