Return of the Bald Ibis

Projektleiter Johannes Fritz. Im Hintergrund: die VögelIn 2003 a group of zoologists ventured out to indulge into a truly crazy adventure. Their ambition: to show a fl ock of bald ibises, birds that have been pushed over the brink by hunting and habitat destruction and only survived in zoos, how to fl y to their winter quarters on their original

seasonal migration routes. They accompanied the animals with lightweight airplanes from Austria to Italy – a chaotic event full of mishaps and some successes. But now it appears as though their dreams are about to come true: the comeback of a bird that went extinct in Europe in the Middle Ages.

In the previous year two bald ibises managed to fly back to Austria without guidance. Now, for the fifth time, human foster parents – 16 people from 4 nations – will once again lead the way for young ibises in completely novel paraplanes covering a distance of 900 kilometres within three weeks. This documentary takes us on a thrilling and humorous adventure introducing us to a very special family consisting of birds and humans. Produced by Cosmos Factory for ORF in association with BR and Austrian Federal Ministry of Education.