Local News

SUNY Cortland Camp at Raquette Lake to be Featured on BBC “Frozen Planet II”


Still Image from the BBC Documentary featuring the Painted Turtles. Image Courtesy of SUNY Cortland

The voice of Sir David Attenborough, who is a famed broadcaster and biologist, is well known throughout the world for his voice narrative of the BBC documentaries regarding wildlife.

For the new upcoming BBC documentary “Frozen Planet II”, SUNY Cortland’s William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education at Raquette Lake, in the Adirondacks will be featured in the show.

The animals to be documented at the camp are painted turtles, which have a unique physical make up that can let them spend winter beneath the ice that covers the lake for three to four months, without breathing. The painted turtle actually hatched during the winter, unlike other species of turtles, spending time in their nest until emerging during spring.

“I was fortunate enough to see some of the footage as it was filmed” said Rhonda Pitoniak ’01, M ’16, director of SUNY Cortland’s Adirondack facility. “The crew would send videos daily to the headquarters to be sure they were capturing what the BBC wanted. Even though it was a two- to three-second snippet on the trailer, I was thrilled to see the turtles, knowing they had been here. I look forward to seeing the show in its entirety.”

The documentary has already been released in the United Kingdom and a set release date for the United States has yet to be announced.

Rhonda Pitoniak credits networking from other alumni at SUNY Cortland for the BBC filming at the camp.

It was noted that filming was not easy, and heavy loads of equipment were used to film, including drones.

“The groups that visit our facilities are so varied in their purpose for their visit. Alumni are here on vacation; college programs range from science education to history to community building and beyond. Our message is slightly different for each group, but one of the main goals is to get folks to allow themselves to be fully present.” Pitoniak said in a press release from the school.

The turtles can be seen in the trailer at the :47 second mark.

On Air Now

Now Playing On X101

Download The X101 App

Site Designed & Hosted by Eves Digital