Lifestyle & Belief

David Attenborough to undergo urgent heart surgery, cancel Australia tour


Native Alaskans will retain the right to hunt up to 336 bowhead whales between 2013 and 2018.


Ishara S. Kodikara

BRISBANE, Australia — Veteran British natural history broadcaster Sir David Attenborough must undergo urgent surgery to have a pacemaker fitted, his promoters have said.

The news came as Sir David, 87, canceled his sell-out tour of Australia, due to start in Brisbane next week.

He will undergo the surgery in London.

Tour organiser Simon Baggs released a statement, quoted by the Fairfax media, that said Sir David was disappointment he could not make Down Under:

"He was very much looking forward to coming back to Australia and he hopes to reschedule his tour in the near future.’’

He would look to reschedule his live show, "Sir David Attenborough — A Life on Earth" when he recovered from surgery.

In the meantime, ticket holders would be refunded.

Australia's ABC wrote that in a career spanning six decades and including such productions as "Planet Earth," "Africa" and "The Blue Planet," Sir David  had been knighted by the Queen and awarded the Order of Merit.

Sir David told Fairfax earlier this year that "A Life on Earth" would be his opportunity to discuss nature filmmaking. However, he would not be pushing any environmental causes:

''I'm not on a proselytising tour. On occasions I speak on these issues where it's appropriate and where the subject has come up."

In the meantime, ticket holders will be refunded and should check the website for details.

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