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33- Rare Breed
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33- Rare Breed

Episode summary

On his sprawling wild property in British Columbia, Gordon Blankstein has a mission: breed some of the world’s most endangered species with the aim of returning them to their natural habitats.


Gordon Blankstein

Over 20 years ago, Gordon and Yvonne Blankstein undertook a mission to help repair the damage caused by humans to wildlife around the world. How do you make this far-fetched dream a reality? By breeding the world’s most endangered species in Canada with the aim of returning them to the wild in their native countries. On his property in British Columbia, Gordon Blankstein comes into daily contact with exotic animals, including lemurs from Madagascar, the strange tapir, the African wild dog, the Masai giraffe, the addax (an African antelope), various felines and numerous exotic birds. As Blankstein shares his story with us, we gain access to his vast experience working with the world’s rarest and most fascinating creatures.

Yvonne BlanksteinBlankstein is also concerned by the fate of the Vancouver Island marmot. This species suffered a catastrophic decline to fewer than 20 individuals in the wild. Thanks to a reintroduction program, the population of the Vancouver Island marmot has rebounded to 90 individuals, and the animal has begun breeding in the wild again. This year, Blankstein’s team are verifying whether the animals released have survived Vancouver Island’s harsh winter, and especially its predators.

Breeding an endangered species and saving it from extinction are complex tasks that Gordon Blankstein and his team must carry out with extreme vigilance. Blankstein relies on the expertise of caretakers who travel the world to learn more about the specific needs of each species.

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