Volume 11
Issue 2

May 14, 1936–April 3, 1993

Dieter Plage, the world-renowned wildlife cinematographer who filmed BCI’s “The Secret World of Bats,” was killed in an accident in Indonesia. Plage was filming another Survival Anglia documentary when he fell to his death from the rain forest canopy, while trying to secure his camera equipment.

Dieter Plage took risks his entire career to bring viewers some of the most remarkable moments ever captured on film, including close encounters with male gorillas, tigers, charging elephants, and volcanoes. An award-winning cinematographer, he was considered one of the finest in the world. His dramatic approach to his subjects changed the face of natural history programs, contributing to the rising popularity of such documentaries over his 25-year career with Survival Anglia of the United Kingdom.

“The Secret World of Bats,” first televised in the United States in 1992, has been viewed by millions worldwide. Merlin Tuttle acted as scientific advisor, accompanying Plage and his wife, Mary, across eight countries and 11 different locations in the United States to capture the lives of bats on film. During the 18 months of filming, several BCI staff were fortunate to see him at work behind the camera, but the entire office looked forward to his periodic visits on his way between one exotic locale and another. He was a treasured friend of bats and of all who knew him, and he will be deeply missed.