Sir David Attenborough.
Sir David Attenborough. Contributed by ABC TV publicity website

Sir David Attenborough may perform last Aussie live show

SIR David Attenborough has hope, but admitted he was pessimistic about the future of the natural world.

Sir David, who turned 87 two months ago, was last night doing probably the second last live show he will ever do in Australia.

The final show of his Australian tour is tonight in Brisbane.

In the measured, scientific and logical manner he has presented stories of the natural world for the past 60 years, he spoke of the pressures mankind was putting on the animal kingdom.

Sir David said the world's population had trebled since he started doing stories for television about wildlife in the early 1950s, and was still swelling at an alarming rate.

"We are putting enormous pressure on the natural world by simply taking up the space," he said.

"We are destroying natural habitats along the way, and  animals simply no longer have the space they need to exist."  

Sir David was fielding questions from the audience during a "chat" of more than two hours at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre last night.

Appropriately enough, he sat in a leather-bound chair -- and host Ray Martin in another opposite -- telling stories and showing a little film about his career "in the wild".

He told stories about the BBC show he hosted in the 1950s and '60s called Zoo Quest, and how it became the first to film animals such as Indonesia's Komodo dragon, and New Guinea's bird of paradise.

Sir David, who holds a degree in zoology and geology from Cambridge University, talked frankly about his first encounter with Uganda's mountain gorillas, and with a tribe of head hunting cannibals in PNG.

Sir David's tour -- which was delayed a month because he had been ordered by his doctors in London to have a pacemaker inserted in his chest before he embarked on any further long-distance flights -- followed his first sell-out tour last year.

"The pacemaker was no big thing," he said.

"You simply turn up at the hospital at 9 one morning, and leave at 9am the next."

Life on Earth is easy, sometimes.


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