Teamwork Natural Born Hunters


Teamwork

A fresh look at some of the most supreme predators in the animal kingdom. Dolphins, wild dogs and chimpanzees go head-to-head in a race to eat.


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Transcript


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Welcome to Natural Born Hunters,

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the show where three of the world's top predators

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go head to head in a race to eat.

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To be the fittest, the healthiest and at the top of their game,

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they all need food.

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Without it, they'll die.

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We compare how they hunt and why eating today

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really does matter.

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But even for top predators, mealtimes aren't always guaranteed.

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Success and failure hangs in the balance.

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Three will hunt, but only one will be crowned

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today's Natural Born Hunter.

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The question is - who are you backing?

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-I'm Steve.

-And I'm Barney.

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And we'll be commentating on all the action.

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This week's Natural Born Hunters have one thing in common.

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When they hunt, their chief weapon is teamwork.

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This is our first contender, the wild dog team.

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They're also called hunting dogs

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cos hunting is what they're really good at.

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Just how good are they, Steve?

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Well, they're one of Africa's most successful hunters.

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-Come on, they can't be as good as lions.

-They are.

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When they work as a team with up to 30 players,

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they can even take on the kings of the jungle

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and their hit rate on hunts is even higher.

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Impressive. OK, who's next?

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These guys are the chimpanzee team.

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They're one of our closest relatives and like us,

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they're very social and very smart.

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Yeah, I look a bit like one of them as well.

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How do they work as a team?

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They know that working together in groups of ten or more

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helps them to hunt better.

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What do they hunt? You can't hunt bananas.

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They don't just eat bananas. They also eat bugs,

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-grubs, lizards...

-Gross.

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..and something even worse than that.

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-What?

-I'll tell you later.

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-And here are our final team.

-You did that on porpoise.

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I know, I know. You love dolphins, don't you, Barn?

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-I do.

-They live in complex societies

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and there can be as many as 1,000 in a team.

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1,000 - that is a lot of team-mates to keep track of.

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It is. So it's just as well these guys are really smart.

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A dolphin's brain is one of the largest in the animal kingdom.

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-Is it as big as mine?

-Oh, no. No way.

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-Ha! It is, isn't it?

-Yeah, probably.

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In underwater teamwork, few animals can compete

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with dolphins, and they've invented some amazing hunting strategies.

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-Take a look at this.

-Wow!

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By swimming in formation, they're creating mini tidal waves

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that drive shoals of fish out of the water

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-with tasty pickings for all.

-I've never seen fishing

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done like that before. That is what I call teamwork.

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OK, that's our line-up. Wild dogs, chimpanzees and dolphins.

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Three teams, each with amazing hunting skills and team tactics.

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But which team will win the premiership and get to eat today?

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What do you reckon, Barn?

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Well, it seems quite obvious,

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cos dolphins have got 1,000 team-maters.

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Yeah, but there's a lot of other factors coming into play here.

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Not just numbers.

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The teams have to communicate, work together,

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and even the best can be brought down by circumstances

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beyond their control.

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-Like what?

-Bad weather can stop play.

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Rival teams can put in an appearance.

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OK, well, now I don't know who to support.

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To help everyone at home decide,

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we're going to get to know each of our contenders a bit better

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by recreating a day in their lives as they prepare to hunt.

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This fuel gauge will help us keep track

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of how much food each team eats.

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Whichever fills up first is the winner.

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It sounds like a plan.

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In the thick forests of Central Africa,

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the day is just beginning for our chimpanzee team.

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This is a very important day for this teenage male chimp,

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as he's going to go on his first hunt

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and he wants to make a good impression on the adult males.

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He must be feeling a bit nervous, then.

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It's a bit like your first big day at school, isn't it?

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-Hang on.

-What's he doing?

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He's just grooming another member of the team.

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By giving each other a good clean,

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getting rid of nits or any other nasty parasites,

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they bond and make friends.

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It's important to get on with each other

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if you want to be part of a winning team.

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Yes, that's right. If you all care for each other and work together,

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you're more likely to hunt successfully.

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What else do they hunt, apart from bugs, grubs and gross lizards?

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Believe it or not, they'll also hunt monkeys.

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-Hang on. Apes eat monkeys?

-Yeah.

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It's really hard to find protein in the jungle,

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and like us, chimps need a lot to grow and survive.

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Well, the fuel gauge is looking pretty low at the moment.

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To fill it up, our teenager and the team

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could really do with finding a decent meal of protein.

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A good-sized monkey is just what they need

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to feed these hungry mouths.

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Now it's time to meet our underwater synchronised swimming team.

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Say good morning to our ten-strong pod of bottlenose dolphins

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living off the coast of Florida.

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They're all good mates and some of them are related.

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Check out the mums and the toddlers.

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This young girl is just five months old,

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and she's staying close to Mum,

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learning all the time about her world.

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She's still suckling, so relies on Mum's milk to feed her.

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So, she doesn't have to hunt, then?

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Sun, sea and lots of swimming.

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Life must be one long holiday for these youngsters.

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Seems like it, but look at this. The sea has dangers.

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Speedboats, fishing nets, even sharks...

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One in five won't make it to their first birthday.

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-So, our youngster's got a long way to go.

-She has.

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But she isn't completely vulnerable.

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Her mum and the other adults

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are constantly on the lookout for predators.

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This pod has been together for years

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and work really well as a team,

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sharing all that they catch.

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-Check our their fuel gauge.

-It's nearly empty.

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They haven't eaten a decent meal for a few days,

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so it's critical they find a big shoal

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of 100 or more fish today.

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Basically, if the pod get to eat,

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then so does Mum and our youngster.

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Cool. Who's the final contender, then?

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Right, well, this is the Okavango Delta in Africa.

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Hey, doggies.

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They may look a bit like your friendly local mongrels

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but this is a wild and highly-tuned hunting team

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who can bring down animals six times bigger than them.

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-And they've got puppies.

-Cute, aren't they?

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This one here is the youngest in the pack.

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He's also the smallest, which means he's the most likely

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-to get attacked by predators.

-Who would hurt a cute little puppy?

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Lions and hyenas, for a start.

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To them, he'd make a really good snack.

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You'd better watch out, little fellow.

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Was that his dad?

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Yes. And he knows how important it is to bring back some food

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today, as you can tell from the fuel gauge, his pup

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and the rest of the pack haven't eaten for nearly two days.

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They must be starving. A lot of pressure on Dad here.

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There is. But remember,

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they work as a team.

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It's the responsibility of the whole pack to feed

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and look after the pups. If they're going to win,

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they need to catch an antelope big enough to feed the whole team.

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They should win just cos they've got cute puppies.

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While they get into their stride,

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let's catch up with our other African team.

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I love these guys, the chimpanzees.

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Oh, hello, what's our teenager up to?

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Good, he's poking stuff with a stick.

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This is actually pretty clever.

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He's fishing for termites.

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He's stripped the leaves off a twig and he's poking it into the hole.

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Look at this. A tasty meal of yummy termites on the end.

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That's the most effective spoon ever.

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These insects will give their muscles a quick boost of energy

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for the hunt ahead.

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Yeah, look, the fuel gauge is going up.

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CHIMPS JABBER What's that one doing?

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Well, that's one of the adult males.

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He's drumming on the tree to call the team together.

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Snack time's done, the hunt is about to begin.

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While they get sorted out, let's look at the dolphins.

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Look, there's our young female, look at her go.

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The pod have started their hunt for fish.

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This gives us a chance to have a look

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at what makes them such awesome predators.

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Their large tail is almost all muscle.

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It powers them through the water

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-at speeds of up to 20 miles an hour.

-Like torpedoes.

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They have great eyesight too.

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Their eyes are on the side of their heads, which means

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they see predators, such as sharks approaching from behind them.

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-Do you mind if we leave the sharks out of it?

-OK, Barney.

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Thanks to an extremely flexible eye lens

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they have superb vision, both above water and below it.

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It's like having built-in swimming goggles.

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I could do with a pair of those.

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All of our teams have started to hunt.

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The chimp team need to catch a monkey

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to provide protein for the entire group.

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If our teenage chimp wants to be a winner,

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he has to help the troupe catch dinner.

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Our hunting dog dad and the wild dog pack

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have got to catch an antelope large enough to feed

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all those hungry mouths, including our young pup.

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And the dolphins have to find a shoal of over 100 fish

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to feed the pod.

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Which means our young girl

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will also get to feed.

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So, keep an eye on those fuel gauges,

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because the first to fill up is the winner.

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OK, so, time to check in with our dogs.

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When we last saw them, they'd just started.

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It's an hour later and they're still searching for possible prey.

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These dogs have some energy. They've been running at that speed for ages.

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It's unreal. There's no such thing as an easy meal for these guys,

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as their prey is constantly on the move.

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They often have to travel several miles

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before they even get a sighting of a meal.

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They can keep up this pace all day long,

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as they've got unbelievable stamina.

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Their long legs and slight bodies help them cover

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enormous amounts of ground.

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I keep thinking of that hungry pup back at the den.

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I think Dad is too.

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Look at the pack's fuel gauge. Their energy levels are really low.

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Hunting like this really burns up the calories.

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For now, they just have to keep on the move looking for food.

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Now, our chimps have also been out for about an hour

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looking up in the treetops for a decent meal.

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They also need vital fuel

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but those pre-hunt snacks help keep them going.

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-Is our teenager with them?

-Erm... Yes! There he is.

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Oh, hang on.

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They're making him sit and watch how they do it before he has a go.

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Why? I thought he was part of the team.

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As they haven't had a decent meal for weeks,

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they can't afford to get it wrong.

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OK. What are they hunting?

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Well...today, they're after the red colobus monkey.

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Rich in protein, but it lives way up in the treetops.

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I've noticed the monkeys have legs. Can't they just run away?

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They can, but our chimpanzee team use very clever hunting techniques.

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So, one chimp's climbing up after the monkey.

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-He's been spotted.

-He has. That's what he wants.

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Now, two other chimps move up on the other sides.

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They're the blockers to make sure the monkey can't get away.

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-Nice tactics.

-We can see it even better on the hunter radar.

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Yeah, there's the monkey.

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Here's the clever bit. This chimp is the catcher.

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He's climbed up ahead of the monkey and is waiting to ambush him.

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They've really worked this out, haven't they?

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Yes. It's a precision business.

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This is what our teenager has to learn

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for when he gets a go.

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The lead chimp's moving in.

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It's all systems go for the chimp team.

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They're driving the monkey towards the catcher.

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What's happening, Steve?

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Let's switch to the hunter radar to find out.

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So, there's a gap in the trap.

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The monkey's seen it and he's heading for it.

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Look, the monkey's got away.

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All that hard work and no meal.

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They'll have to try again later.

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So, what about our young dolphin?

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Like the other two teams, the pod have been on the move

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for about an hour now.

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It looks as though they've found some tasty titbits.

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The fish are hiding in the sand. Not going to find them now.

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Dolphins have another way of seeing the world

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that helps them catch fish. They have a special sense

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called echo location, which allows them to see

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right through the sand.

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Dolphins send out very high-frequency sound waves.

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When the waves hit an object like a fish, they bounce back

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and a dolphin is able to hear this sound

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and work out where the fish are.

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It means they can still catch fish in really murky water

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or right down in the sand, like our mum's doing here.

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Look at the fuel gauge. It's going up a bit,

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but it's still got a way to go.

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With so many mouths to feed, what they need to find

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is a big school of fish, so they'll have to keep looking.

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In Africa, the dogs are still on the run.

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They've stopped. Bet they've run out of energy, haven't they?

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I don't think so.

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Look.

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They've spotted their favourite prey.

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A herd of impala.

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Where have the dogs gone? I can hardly see them.

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Their darkly-coloured coats make them difficult to see.

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And they've gone deadly quiet.

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Working as a team is important,

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because the impala have very sensitive hearing.

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If any of the dogs bark or make a wrong move, the impala would run.

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But if you have to keep quiet,

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how do they communicate - walkie-talkies?

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Those ears act like signalling devices.

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They tilt them to communicate their positions.

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That is the signal to go.

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The pack splits, some head left, some right.

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If we switch to the hunter radar,

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we see the dogs spacing themselves out

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to form a cordon around the antelope.

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Dad's taken the lead and has moved in right behind the impala.

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Everyone's in place.

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The trap is set.

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Dad's off. Three of the pack join him to separate

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one impala from the herd.

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They're driving the lone impala forward

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and the hidden flankers move in from the side.

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Look at them go!

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Nice, fast and they've got one, Steve, brilliant teamwork.

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Now it's time to enjoy the feast.

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-They even eat the bones!

-Yep.

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They've got one of the most powerful bites.

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They can crunch up every morsel. Nothing goes to waste.

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-They don't hang around.

-They want to eat quickly.

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They don't want to attract any attention.

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Attention from what?

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Attention...

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from these.

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Hyena.

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It's not going to take on all those dogs.

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He will if he's really hungry.

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Using teamwork, they've seen him off.

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The pack have got no time to lose.

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They've got to bolt as much food as they can

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before the hyena returns with mates.

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Oh, no, the dad's been hurt.

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That doesn't look good.

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He must have been bitten by the hyena.

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Look at the fuel gauge.

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Cos the hyena stole some food there won't be enough for all the pups.

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Our dad's leading the pack back to the den

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to give the pups as much food as he can.

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So, time for a look at the state of play.

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The chimpanzee team have been unsuccessful

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in their first hunt, and our teenager

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is still waiting for his big chance to prove himself.

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Our pod of dolphins fuelled by a fish snack

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are now on the hunt for a large shoal of fish.

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Finally, the wild dogs made a successful kill

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and managed to get a quick meal before losing out to a hyena.

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Our dad is limping home

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after the attack to feed the hungry pups.

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CHIMPS JABBER

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Our chimpanzee team are on the hunt again

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and have spotted another group of monkeys.

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They're moving in

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using the team tactics we saw earlier.

0:18:240:18:27

Hey, look, our teenager's been allowed to join in.

0:18:270:18:30

-I hope he doesn't blow it.

-Why are they making so much noise?

0:18:300:18:33

They're really starving

0:18:330:18:35

and excited at the thought of eating.

0:18:350:18:37

It happens to me all the time. For the chimps,

0:18:370:18:40

it's their way of getting hyped up for the hunt.

0:18:400:18:43

Oh, no, here comes trouble.

0:18:430:18:44

-Really?

-Nah, it's just more chimps. Maybe they've come to help.

0:18:440:18:48

No, the noise has attracted a rival team.

0:18:480:18:51

This is a really serious situation.

0:18:510:18:54

-Are they going to have a bit of a scrap?

-If they get a chance,

0:18:560:18:59

they'll kill each other.

0:18:590:19:00

No way, they've singled out our teenager.

0:19:070:19:10

Probably because he's the least experienced. He's in trouble.

0:19:100:19:13

Go on, fella, run.

0:19:150:19:17

He's managed to break away, but it looks like he's hurt from the fight.

0:19:170:19:22

The troupe's going to have to regroup and rest

0:19:220:19:25

if they're to try hunting again today.

0:19:250:19:27

It's the middle of the day

0:19:320:19:33

and the dolphin team have been hunting for over five hours.

0:19:330:19:36

-Oh, what about the surfing?

-Surf's up, dudes.

0:19:380:19:41

They're on their way to one of their favourite hunting grounds,

0:19:410:19:44

and riding these waves means they can save some valuable energy.

0:19:440:19:48

I can't say I blame them. Those waves look cool.

0:19:480:19:51

DOLPHINS SQUEAK

0:19:510:19:52

What are those noises? It sounds like talking.

0:19:520:19:55

Each dolphin has a unique whistle.

0:19:550:19:57

This allows them to keep track of each other

0:19:570:20:00

and keep their tightly-knit group together.

0:20:000:20:03

This will help them to work as a team

0:20:030:20:05

and co-ordinate their attack

0:20:050:20:06

once they find the big shoal of fish they're after.

0:20:060:20:09

For now, they just have to keep looking.

0:20:090:20:11

Cool, the wild dogs have made it back.

0:20:170:20:19

THEY BARK

0:20:190:20:22

Oh, no, Dad's been sick.

0:20:300:20:31

-No!

-I know it looks pretty grim, Barney,

0:20:310:20:34

but, actually, what's happening is he's feeding the pups.

0:20:340:20:38

What Dad'll do is regurgitate most of the meat he's eaten,

0:20:380:20:41

and I know it seems pretty unpleasant,

0:20:410:20:43

but for these guys, it's the best way to bring home a meal.

0:20:430:20:47

Bring up a meal. Nice.

0:20:470:20:49

With 12 puppies to feed,

0:20:490:20:50

there's just not enough food to go round

0:20:500:20:53

and it looks as though our youngster isn't getting his fair share.

0:20:530:20:56

Has the pack got to go back out again?

0:20:560:20:59

They will, but right now is the hottest part of the day,

0:20:590:21:02

and there's no point trying. They'll overheat and waste energy.

0:21:020:21:05

-So, nothing to do but sit it out.

-Yes. It's not just fun in the sun.

0:21:050:21:09

Look. Dad's getting his wound looked after by the rest of the pack.

0:21:090:21:13

They really do look after each other, don't they?

0:21:130:21:16

The chimpanzee team are back out and they've spotted another troupe

0:21:180:21:21

of red colobus monkeys.

0:21:210:21:23

This could be our teenager's big moment.

0:21:230:21:25

How's he doing?

0:21:250:21:26

It looks like he's recovered enough to join in the hunt.

0:21:260:21:30

And...here we go. That's the chaser chimp getting the monkey to move.

0:21:350:21:39

I can see the blockers moving into position either side of the monkey.

0:21:390:21:43

He can't escape, but the monkey's still going

0:21:430:21:46

-faster than the chimps.

-That's where the catcher comes into play.

0:21:460:21:49

Look, that role's been taken on by our teenager.

0:21:490:21:54

Come on, fellow, this is your big chance to impress your team-mates.

0:21:580:22:02

Everyone's getting excited. They're getting into position.

0:22:020:22:05

The colobus is making a break for freedom!

0:22:050:22:08

-He's caught it! Yes, he's got it! No!

-Oh!

0:22:090:22:12

He's dropped it. Whoa!

0:22:120:22:14

Aw, he must be gutted. But he's young, though.

0:22:160:22:19

He's learning. Surely he'll get another chance, won't he?

0:22:190:22:22

He'll have plenty more chances, but for today, it's all over

0:22:220:22:25

for the chimps. The light in the jungle's fading.

0:22:250:22:28

It's too dangerous to continue hunting.

0:22:280:22:31

Despite some fantastic teamwork, they're going to be returning

0:22:310:22:34

to the group with nothing to show for their effort.

0:22:340:22:37

They're officially out of the game.

0:22:370:22:40

Aw, life's tough for these guys.

0:22:410:22:44

It is, but they'll be out again hunting tomorrow.

0:22:440:22:47

So, that's one down, two to go.

0:22:490:22:51

For the dolphins and for the wild dogs,

0:22:510:22:54

the battle to eat continues.

0:22:540:22:57

Time for them to go head to head.

0:22:570:22:58

It's now early evening.

0:23:020:23:03

The dolphins have been on the move for eight hours.

0:23:030:23:06

They've come to one of their favourite fishing grounds,

0:23:080:23:11

-this lagoon.

-It looks a bit murky.

-That's no problem for the dolphins.

0:23:110:23:14

They can see through that with their special

0:23:140:23:17

-echo-location.

-Oh, yeah, I remember. They sound excited.

-They are.

0:23:170:23:21

Those whistles and clicks are them talking to each other

0:23:210:23:24

as they plan their attack.

0:23:240:23:26

In Africa, the temperature's dropped,

0:23:290:23:31

and the wild dogs have recovered enough to head out again.

0:23:310:23:35

They've been out hunting for over an hour.

0:23:350:23:38

Look, there's Dad.

0:23:380:23:39

Yup, even though he's hurt,

0:23:390:23:42

he's back out leading the pack.

0:23:420:23:44

They just don't stop, do they?

0:23:440:23:46

No, giving up is just not an option.

0:23:460:23:48

The pups are still desperately hungry,

0:23:480:23:51

and our little one needs to get his fair share if he's going to survive.

0:23:510:23:55

Our dolphin mum's also desperate to get a good catch,

0:23:570:24:01

so she can produce enough milk to feed her young one.

0:24:010:24:04

The dolphins have entered one of the deep channels.

0:24:040:24:07

On either side of the channels are shallower ones.

0:24:070:24:10

It's here where big shoals of fish are.

0:24:100:24:13

Just listen to all that talking going on.

0:24:140:24:16

-DOLPHINS SQUEAK

-They just have to get closer.

0:24:160:24:19

Then they can launch their co-ordinated attack.

0:24:190:24:22

Meanwhile, the dogs have spotted another herd of impala.

0:24:230:24:26

They're using all the team tactics we saw earlier.

0:24:260:24:29

They've gone quiet and are signalling using their ears.

0:24:290:24:34

One of the dogs breaks off to stop the impala escaping to the left.

0:24:350:24:39

Then the other one. They can't escape to the right.

0:24:390:24:41

Back with our pod, Mum has split away from the rest of the group.

0:24:450:24:49

She's dived down and is kicking up the mud, swimming in a circle.

0:24:490:24:53

That's clever - she's circling the fish.

0:24:530:24:56

Exactly. She can't see the fish.

0:24:560:24:57

So, she's using her echo-location skills to find them.

0:24:570:25:00

The team join her and they're all talking to each other

0:25:000:25:03

getting into position.

0:25:030:25:05

Back in Africa, Dad's driving the impala

0:25:140:25:17

towards the hidden flankers. It's game on.

0:25:170:25:20

Oh! How close was that?

0:25:220:25:25

Dad's still going, though, isn't he?

0:25:250:25:28

It's one on one now.

0:25:280:25:29

The dog has stamina, the impala speed.

0:25:290:25:32

The dolphins are all in position.

0:25:340:25:36

That circle of mud that's been stirred up

0:25:360:25:38

by the lead dolphins has confused the fish.

0:25:380:25:41

They think they've been trapped, and they're panicking.

0:25:410:25:44

They're leaping out the water! Straight into the dolphins' mouths!

0:25:470:25:50

That is incredible.

0:25:560:25:58

And look, fuel gauge is filling up.

0:25:580:26:00

Yes, talk about food coming straight to you.

0:26:000:26:03

Look at that! Good catch.

0:26:030:26:04

Our dad's still on the chase.

0:26:090:26:10

He's tired, he's hurt and he's not in great shape,

0:26:130:26:16

but he's not giving up.

0:26:160:26:17

Now he's in trouble. He's gone in the water.

0:26:200:26:22

Oh, no.

0:26:220:26:24

Although the impala can't swim very well,

0:26:240:26:26

the wild dogs will not follow it into there.

0:26:260:26:29

-They just wait for it?

-No. They're away from their pups.

0:26:290:26:32

They need to travel back before it's dark to protect them.

0:26:320:26:35

No dinner for our hungry little puppy, then?

0:26:360:26:38

Well...not today. The pack will be out again at first light tomorrow.

0:26:380:26:42

You can rest assured they'll do all they can to feed them.

0:26:420:26:45

I hope so.

0:26:450:26:46

Hey, look at the dolphins!

0:26:470:26:49

I can't believe how many fish they're catching.

0:26:490:26:52

Look at the fuel gauge.

0:26:520:26:53

Looks like all the pod are feeding well,

0:26:550:26:57

including our mum.

0:26:570:26:59

And she's feeding her young one.

0:26:590:27:02

I think we'd better announce the winner, Steve.

0:27:020:27:04

Today's champions are the dolphin team.

0:27:060:27:09

-They've done it! Didn't they do well?

-Great performance and co-ordination.

0:27:100:27:14

Legendary teamwork. What amazing animals!

0:27:140:27:17

Commiserations to our runners-up, the chimps and the wild dogs.

0:27:170:27:20

There's no doubt the chimps are great hunters,

0:27:220:27:25

but the colobus monkeys proved just too fast today.

0:27:250:27:28

The wild dogs' team-working spirit is incredible

0:27:310:27:34

and they just missed out bringing back a whole impala to the pups.

0:27:340:27:38

So, with an awesome display of team hunting,

0:27:390:27:42

the dolphins are our Natural Born Hunters!

0:27:420:27:44

Join us next time, when we'll be seeking three more contenders

0:27:450:27:49

to earn the title of Natural Born Hunter. See you then. Bye.

0:27:490:27:52

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:27:570:28:00

E-mail [email protected]

0:28:000:28:03

Dolphins, wild dogs and chimpanzees go head-to-head in a race to eat. The first to get their daily intake of food is the winner. The three contenders have one thing in common: when it comes to hunting they all use teamwork to help them catch their prey. Expect tactical play and surprises all the way to the finishing line. Steve Backshall and Barney Harwood commentate on the action as it happens.


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