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16 January 2012
Dr Rhys Jones, the emergency wildlife expert, is back.
In 2010, the BBC Wales series Rhys to the Rescue followed Dr Jones, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the School of Biosciences, on a series of emergency call-outs. Dr Jones, a reptile expert, is one of the few people who can be called on the rescue endangered species. An average working day in South Wales can take in snakes, scorpions and spiders.
Now a second series again follows Dr Jones on his calls, this time with a wider range of animals. The School of Biosciences will be screening the first programme in the series to coincide with its screening on Wednesday night. Dr Jones will be available to answer questions at the event, to be held in the Julian Hodge Lecture Theatre.
In the opening episode of the new series of Rhys to the Rescue, there’s a squatter in an Abertridwr bathroom - a live corn snake 36 inches long. Dr Jones finds the snake skin, but will he be able to safely rescue the North American snake without injury?
In a south Wales forest, eye witnesses believe they’ve sighted a large panther or some sort of big cat, but can Dr Jones capture the cat on camera? He then heads to Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary in the Swansea valley - home to around 300 unwanted animals. When Billy the chimpanzee arrives, following a journey from a Bulgarian zoo, Dr Jones is on hand to see he settles down well. After 15 years alone in a small cage, how will Billy react when he meets the two other resident chimps at his new home?
Dr Jones said: "The new series may not be what people expect. It starts with me helping someone with a snake, but then moves on to a whole range of different animals. There are some real adventures in this series."
The programmes also feature a lot of Dr Jones’ work with the School of Biosciences, including the discovery of hooding behaviour in grass snakes. The School is hosting the screening, at 7pm on Wednesday evening, in front of an audience including representatives from the National Museum, the Wildlife Trust, a variety of relevant private companies and the BBC, military and police staff. Dr Jones will be available as part of the panel for the post-screening Q&A session.
Dr Jones, who obtained his undergraduate degree and his PhD at the School said: "The question and answer session will give the audience the chance to discuss further what they’ve just seen. The event also involves colleagues, members of the Museum, the Police and the different agencies, underlining how integral they have been to the making of this series. I also hope it shows everyone at the School who has supported me, particularly my supervisors Dr Jo Cable and Professor Mike Bruford, that their efforts have been worthwhile."
Places at the School of Biosciences event are free and available on a first come, first served basis. To book, please e-mail Rhystotherescue@cardiff.ac.uk.
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