When you hear our next story is going to be about Simon Cowell - your first thought would probably be that it's about Simon of American Idol fame. But, no, this is another Simon Cowell.
He's the host of Wildlife SOS - a TV show on Animal Planet based in the UK's Wildlife Aid. The show has been running since 1996 and produced by Simon Cowell's Wild Productions. It is run almost completely by volunteers and is about rescuing injured, sick or orphaned wildlife and treating and raising them so they can be ready to be released back into the wild. But Cowell and his production team has branched out to other countries around the world. One such stop for them is in Belize where he will be producing a documentary based on the Ace crocodile wildlife sanctuary owned by Vince Rose and his wife Cherie.
We found out more about the taping:
Simon Cowell - Host, Wildlife SOS
"Because I've been travelling for the last 6 years doing international episodes, at SOS, we like to go and see what other people are doing in other countries. We like to see how they handle the problems, what types of problems they have compared to ours. Coming to Belize to meet the ACES crew, of all the trips I've ever done, these guys do the most to deserve help, and I don't say that lightly. They're the only the couple in Belize saving crocodiles. They've had death threats - people are just ignorant of the facts. This is why education is so important, but if everybody can help them, they so desperately need it. We're going to do a week here, and then we get back. But of all the trips, they are the most deserving. We've seen them rescue other crocodiles. We've seen the problems that the crocodiles have - the wrong sort of habitats, the fact that they are problematic crocodiles. And if people just realize that if there are problematic crocs, that Vince is actually taking those away. They are not causing more problems. They are actually helping the people - if they understand that. But to see rescues, to see how quick they are - they are an apex predator. They are absolutely phenomenal creatures, and they've been here for up to 250 million years. We've been here for about 5 minutes compared to that. They really deserve their place on this planet. I have never seen two people so passionate and so thwarted in their work. They are desperate in trying to help, and yet everybody seems to be against them. They need some help desperately."
"Tell us about your documentary."
"It's a TV series. It started off filming in my own center in the UK, because we rescued a lot of animals in the UK. It started off like that, but after we'd done quite a few series of that, it was interesting for me as a rehabilitator of wildlife to go and see the problems in other countries and whether we're dealing with the same types of problems. And sadly, we are. We're dealing with a loss of habitat worldwide. And we're also dealing with a man-animal conflict, and sadly, 99.9% of the time, its man that's damaging these creatures. And if the chain breaks - if the food chain breaks - we're going to be in trouble ourselves. Everything has its place on this planet. Everything has its place and runs on right up to us, but we need to start to respect the creatures that we live with, and the planet that we live on."
"How long will you guys be here?"
"We're here with ACES for another 3 or 4 days, and then we're moving on to film some howler monkeys, turtles, manatees, and that sort of thing. So, for me, I'm so lucky to get to do the job I do, but a lot of it makes me incredibly sad - when it's such a struggle."
The production team plans to stay in the country another 5 days or so visiting other wildlife sites.