BBC Announce Brand New David Attenborough Documentary

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If you’ve been missing David Attenborough’s dulcet tones, then we’ve got some great news for you. 

The BBC have just announced that they’re making a brand new documentary with the now 91-year-old national treasure, which should air next year.

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Called Jumbo: The Life of an Elephant Superstar, it will look at the life of the celebrity elephant that inspired Disney’s hit Dumbo. Believed to be the biggest elephant in the world, he arrived at London Zoo in 1865, and quickly became a particular favourite of Queen Victoria and her children.

His, however, is a sad story. While he appeared to be a gentle giant, behind the scenes he showed signs of aggression and stress. He would smash his cages and break his tusks, and could only be calmed with large quantities of alcohol.

Jumbo was eventually sold – much to the outrage of the British public – to an American travelling circus (owned by P.T. Barnum, who Hugh Jackman will play in the upcoming musical, The Greatest Showman). In 1882 he was taken across the pond and – over the course of three years – 20 million people came to see him.

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His life, however, was cut tragically short. In 1885 Jumbo was killed in a terrible accident, when he tripped on a train track and was impaled.

In Jumbo: The Life of an Elephant Superstar, Attenborough and a team of scientists will examine the elephant’s skeleton (which is at the New York Museum of National History), and discuss how our attitudes to animal captivity have changed over the years.

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They’ll also feature wild elephants, looking at why Jumbo was so troubled over the years he spent both in the zoo, and as part of the circus.

We’re getting serious Blackfish vibes, and we’re very excited…

Will you be watching? Let us know in the comments! 

Images via Getty / Wikimedia Commons / BBC

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