Sir David Attenborough just confirmed he’s the coolest 89-year-old of all time

He just abseiled down a 50ft wall to open his new conservation centre

He’s confronted deadly cannibals in Papa New Guinea, scaled the globe to film Life and said boo to a sloth. Sir David Attenborough turns 90 next month, but he just proved he’s still got it.

Today the British naturalist legend abseiled down a 50ft wall at the University of Cambridge to mark the opening of a new conservation centre.

It’s named after him, but he could easily have sent a letter or turned up, said a few words and lapped up the praise. To be honest, after making the world’s greatest wildlife documentaries for more than 60 years, he could have just narrated something and we’d have been happy. Instead he decided to abseil down a gigantic “living wall” of plants and foliage.

Granted, he’s spent most of his life in some of the world’s most extreme places. The sweltering heat of the Sahara, where he avoided vicious scorpions and snakes, the desolate humidity of the Amazon, and the freezing tundra filming Frozen Planet. But at 89, he’s more than earned a break.

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The centre will be a new hub for global conservation, and was built by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI) to tackle some of the greatest conservation challenges facing the world.

More than 500 conservation experts have moved into the campus, including 150 academics from seven departments from the university, and more than 350 conservation practitioners from CCI’s conservation organisation partners.

“The future of our life on Earth is dependent on the natural world – for the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we use – and for the feelings we have of awe and wonder at nature’s extraordinary riches,” said Sir David Attenborough at the ceremony.

He added: “Yet our natural world is threatened as never before. The threats are both numerous and interrelated, and no one institution, however effective, can hope to address them all alone.”

“I am enormously proud that these collaborations are occurring in a building bearing my name.”

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