A Mongolian moose is not an animal you would typically associate with Kent, with badgers, voles and hedgehogs usually stealing the limelight.
However, the rare sub-species, known as the Manchurian moose, took a starring role in a new film by Lenham resident Merrilyn Boorman.
The 71-year-old amateur naturalist will hold the first screening of ‘A Wild Mongolian Moose Chase’ in support of Kent Wildlife Trust next Wednesday.
Narrated by actor, Charles Dance, it tells the story of Mrs Boorman coming face to face with the elusive species.
Ed Charles from the trust said: “Merrilyn is unique in terms of her age, being an amateur naturalist and the fact she has come face to face with such a rare beast. This is very much a story of both the exhibition and her personal journey.”
The screening marks the end of a project triggered by a visit to Mongolia’s National History Museum in capital city, Ulaanbaatar, 12 years ago.
The trip sparked Mrs Boorman’s passion for the species after she spotted a large stuffed head on the wall.
“It looked in every way like a moose’s head, except that it had the wrong antlers,” she said, and has ever since longed to see the animal it belonged to in the wild.
The hour-long film tells the story of that dream coming true during a month-long exhibition to the country last August.
Mrs Boorman, who will also screen the film at the 2016 North American Moose Foundation’s symposium, said: “My daughters asked me if I wanted a party for my 70th birthday but I decided I would prefer to go on an exhibition to Eastern Mongolia.
“I’m not a particularly good photographer so I made the film for my friends and family. The animal is very rare, according to the last count in 2004 there is a maximum of 250 in the wild.”
Tickets to the screening of the film, shot entirely on location in the remote and uninhabited eastern tip of Mongolia, are available for £10 each, with all profits going to the trust.
The premier takes place at the 300-seat Gulbenkian Cinema, University of Kent, Canterbury, on Wednesday, September 17 at 7.30pm.
For information call Kent Wildlife Trust on 01622 662062 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or to book contact the box office on 01227 769075.