I will never forget that Saturday morning of 1980, lying in my bed, at the age of 17, following with the radio stuck to my ear, appallingly consternated for what seemed hours, the news and first reactions to the death of Félix Rodriguez de la Fuente, several hours before, in an air crash in Alaska, while documenting a husky-pulled sledges race.
We all knew Félix as “el amigo de los animales”. A towering personality of a mesmerizing presence, whose daughter Odile, who has kept alive his legacy until now, has described as not less than a shaman, everybody recognized him as a naturalist and creator of a series of fascinating wildlife TV documentaries. It was for him that I decided to study Biology at university. He was my hero in my adolescent years (Miguel de la Quadra was out of my radar by then).
But, as I have recently understood form Odile, he was much ahead of his time in his understanding of the environmental problems we face now and, moreover, of the human role in Earth and, I dare to say, in the whole cosmos. Not merely a naturalist or a documentarist, Félix was a true humanist cosmologist…