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Al Jazeera | Birdman
Meet Kenya's very own conservation superhero – the Birdman of Lekurruki.
Director: Hugh Hartford
Producer: Anson Hartford
November 2014

Martin Wheeler, otherwise known as Birdman, has always had a passion for birds. The Kenyan-born 'local hero' runs his own bird of prey sanctuary, rehabilitating endangered species before releasing them back into the wild.


But when he is not tending to the needs of the birds in his sanctuary, Wheeler is up in the sky with an eagle eye scouring for illegal poaching activities. From his small paraglider, he works with local rangers to identify poaching threats from the air, relaying locations and information back down to the rangers on the ground.


This has led to him to become the self-appointed 'eyes in the sky' for the Lekurruki conservancy – one of the North Rangelands Trust community conservancies.


Birdman's constant presence in the sky allows him to monitor around 240 square kilometres of grass and woodland and help preserve Kenya's iconic wildlife.


Join Russell Beard as he meets this local hero, who is working alongside his community to protect precious wildlife from being hunted to extinction.

About 'earthrise'

'earthrise' is an award-winning series exploring solutions to the environmental challenges we face today.


The programme takes an upbeat look at ecological, scientific, technological and design projects all around the world, from a group of Dutch architects who design stunning buildings made from waste materials, to an ingenious project that has dramatically cut rhino poaching on a South African game reserve.

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