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16 - Nature is His Playground

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16 - Nature is His Playground

Episode summary

Denis Masse knows every nook and cranny of Québec’s Mauricie National Park of Canada.  He explores it by seaplane, in his canoe and on foot, thrilling to close encounters with wolves, black bears and loons.


Denis MasseDenis Masse spends his life in nature, soaking up the sights and sounds of the forest and its animals.  He’s a very likeable guy who’s concerned as much with ecology as he is with animal life because of his background as a wildlife technician and biologist.  His playground:  La Mauricie National Park of Canada and its magnificent scenery that he’s been exploring for 20 years by canoe, seaplane and on foot, to complete various studies and projects for the preservation of animal species and wildlife habitats.  He knows the park’s forest like the back of his hand.

Denis Masse has always dreamt of working with animals.  As a little boy, he would marvel at every episode of the TV program “Le Royaume des animaux” (Animal Kingdom) and say to himself that some day he too would spend his life surrounded by nature, learning everything he could about these furry and feathered creatures.  Today he feels privileged to have been exposed to such a variety of animal species, especially since this type of work is hard to come by in this neck of the woods.

Tortue des boisDenis Masse and his team have just completed a massive project studying black bears that took 15 years to complete.  They filmed every phase of their work, collecting vital data on the habits and habitats of Québec’s black bears.  While he completes his analysis of all the field data they collected for the study, Denis Masse still finds time to pursue his research into the Common Loon, a bird he’s very familiar with, and the Wood Tortoise, a species whose survival is precarious.  He still has several tasks to complete: an aerial count of pairs of loons; checking on their nests; restoration work in aquatic areas and radio-tracking the tortoises to determine the extent of their home range.  This study project to protect the Wood Tortoise is supported by initiatives from some local inhabitants and people who work on the fringe of the forest outside the park’s jurisdiction.

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