Episode 1 Wild Tales


Episode 1

Wildlife documentary series. Bill and Ben the lion cubs learn to hunt, but they get into trouble with some rogue males. Eli, the elephant calf, struggles to survive.


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Transcript


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The world is full of animal families.

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Tales of life and death happen every day.

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For the youngest members, growing up's tough, really tough.

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These stories recreate their roller-coaster lives,

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here on Wild Tales.

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We're following the stories of three fantastic animal characters.

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Young lions Bill and Ben are growing up in a rough neighbourhood.

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Can their mum keep them safe from potential killers?

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For Selkie the young seal, life starts out of the sea.

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But if Mum doesn't feed him,

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it could all be over before it even begins.

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And even if you're the biggest land animal here

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life doesn't always go smoothly.

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Eli's got to find his feet quickly

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if he's going to follow his jumbo-sized family.

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But where do we start?

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Well, hold on, we're about to find out.

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First stop is the East African savannah.

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Kenya to be precise.

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Welcome to the African plains, home - when you think of it -

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to some of the weirdest animals on earth.

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-Ones with nose horns.

-BEEP!

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-The original rubber-neckers.

-BOING!

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-And horses with built-in barcodes.

-KERCHING!

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This place is always full of surprises.

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And, down in these bushes,

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this lioness mum called Bibi has been hiding a secret,

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which she's about to reveal.

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Meet Bill and Ben. For the last five weeks these guys have been tucked

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out of sight in their den. Now they are coming out to play.

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Someone could have at least cut the grass.

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These two have no idea how tough it is out here.

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Bill and Ben, welcome to the world.

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Well, what you can see of it anyway.

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But hold on...don't the kings of the jungle live in big prides?

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The rest of Bill and Ben's family are over two miles away,

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strutting their stuff around the savannah like they own the place.

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And if anyone is in any doubt about who's the boss

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-just listen to this!

-LION ROARS HOARSELY

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They are one seriously BIG family,

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headed up by Notch, the strong male leader.

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Who's the Daddy? Well, he is, and he's backed up by four wives.

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You heard right - four wives!

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There's no way you want to mess with this lot!

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You're born into this gang. It's all about strength in numbers.

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To survive here you've got to be tough.

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You need all your wits about you because,

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even in play, those paws can give you a powerful whack.

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That's why Mum Bibi has been keeping Bill and Ben away

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from the rest of the family.

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When you're small, it's best to keep a low profile for your own safety.

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And if you stand a chance of being killed

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by your own brothers or sisters...

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Well, let's just hope that Wild Tales for these two

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doesn't end in CAT-astrophe!

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4,500 miles north are the rocky shores of Scotland's Atlantic coast.

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Guess what? Surf's up, dudes.

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This is a terrifying coast of crashing waves and huge storms.

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Not the place for buckets and spades.

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But this is the home of the perfectly adapted grey seal.

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This seal mum-to-be has a layer of blubber to protect herself

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from the freezing cold ocean and her torpedo shape

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makes her a really graceful aquatic acrobat.

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She is one of the best underwater hunters.

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And she doesn't even wear goggles!

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In fact, her eyes work better down here.

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-MWAH!

-And with her heat-sensitive whiskers

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getting around this water world is simple.

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But there is one thing she can't do here and that is give birth.

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To do that, she needs to turn from surf chick to beach-bum

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and move through the pounding waves and jagged rocks.

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Getting ashore isn't going to be easy.

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So, before it's even been born, our star seal faces its first threat.

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Mum is heavily pregnant. She must make her way on shore safely

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and avoid being smashed against the rocks. Let's hope she makes it.

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Back in Africa, but further south than our lion family.

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And hands up who NOSE what's next?

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Yes, big it up for the elephant.

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Seven tonnes of pure muscle.

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With tusks that can pierce steel and the ability to run at up to 20mph...

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..they are the heavyweights of the African savannah.

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Like the lions, this lot are all family,

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sticking together and forming a formidable gang.

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But even elephants have to start somewhere.

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For almost the last two years, a new baby elephant

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has been developing in his mum's womb.

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But he's growing so fast, he's running out of room.

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He needs somewhere to stretch his trunk.

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Baby Eli already weighs more than most people's dad.

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But he's just a big baby and will have a lot to learn very quickly.

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It looks like mum is ready to give birth.

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Newborn ellies, aren't too big to avoid the attention of lions.

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But, if they can stick close to mum at all times,

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even lions would think twice about attacking.

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When Eli, our baby elephant, is born -

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and that could be anytime now - he will have to learn to stand

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on his own four feet from the word go and keep up with the family.

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200 miles away, in the heat of the midday sun,

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Bill and Ben's extended family are taking a siesta.

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This is what it's really like to play Sleeping Lions!

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Let's hope they don't roar... Sorry, snore.

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Bill, Ben and Mum, though,

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are still keeping away from the rest of the family.

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For now, it's best that they keep to themselves

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and avoid the rough and tumble of family life.

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At just five weeks old, they're completely dependent on Bibi.

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She has to do absolutely everything for them.

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But her most important job is to keep her kids safe.

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And that means keeping a look out for anything nasty.

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Lions have a lot of enemies

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and Bill and Ben don't just have their own family to worry about.

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In this playground, gangs of buffalo could turn up

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at any moment. They're not afraid to use those horns

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against any little lion cubs that might get in the way.

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This is not a nice neighbourhood.

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To keep them safe, their mum has brought them

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to a place the rest of the pride don't know about.

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They need to grow up a bit before they stand any chance of survival

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as part of their extended Simba family.

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Bibi's got a big job on her paws to keep Bill and Ben from harm.

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But she can't watch them constantly because of the small matter of food.

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And round here, that doesn't mean a family trip to the supermarket.

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This is Bill and Ben's first lesson -

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while Mum's away they need to keep their heads down.

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Back with the Jumbo family. The time has come for the newest arrival.

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Everyone in the herd knows Big Mama is about to give birth

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and they all stick close.

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There's safety in numbers.

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Out of sight, Eli makes his arrival.

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Now it's time to stretch those legs.

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But there seems to be a problem.

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Eli should be able to walk within half an hour of being born.

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He needs to be able to follow the herd to new grazing lands.

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And keep out of the way of dangerous predators.

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But, like a lot of toddlers, Eli is struggling to stand.

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He just can't seem to straighten his legs.

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And if he can't get up, he won't be able to feed on Mum's milk.

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He just won't be able to reach.

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Now his older brothers and sisters are trying to get him to his feet.

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Come on, Eli! You can do it!

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This isn't looking good.

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He just HAS to be able to follow the herd.

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The sun is blazing down overhead and it's sapping his strength.

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The rest of his herd have moved on to get water...

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..leaving just Eli and his mum alone in the baking sun.

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ELI TRUMPETS WEAKLY

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< LOUDER TRUMPETING

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Hearing his distress calls, one of his bigger cousins comes to help.

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Come on, Eli. Get those legs working.

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Our surf-chick seal mum is finding it difficult

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to get on shore in Scotland.

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The waves are pounding.

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But she has to get ashore to give birth,

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because seal pups can't swim when they're born.

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Using all her skill, she eventually makes it onto dry land

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but the dangers don't stop there.

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The beach is rammed. All the local seal mum's are giving birth here.

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PUP CRIES

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Our mum's got to find her place amongst this noisy crowd.

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THEY ROAR

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Being born onto this busy beach is hardly the easiest of starts.

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Yet this is the only place mums can give birth.

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And growing up here has plenty of dangers.

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New pups face being trampled or crushed by scrapping males.

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Luckily, Mum's found an empty part of the beach

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and it's time for Selkie, our seal, to arrive into the world.

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-SEALS CRY

-He gets a noisy welcome.

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This'll be his home for the next month, before he goes to sea.

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BIRDS SQUAWK

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But it's not just other seals making a racket.

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Seagulls screech, adding their deafening call to the mix.

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Can't a young seal get any peace round here?

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It's time for Selkie's first feed of milk.

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But something's wrong.

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Mum's exhausted. Come on, Mum.

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Selkie's hungry.

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He really needs his milk.

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Selkie's her first baby. She doesn't really know what to do.

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Bill and Ben are hiding in the grass alone.

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And they really need to keep a low profile. Without mum close by,

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they're easy targets for predators lurking in the bushes.

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Mum, Bibi, has had to go hunting.

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To make enough milk for Bill and Ben, she needs to eat well.

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She's got a warthog in her sights. She'll have to be careful.

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Warthogs may look small, but they're the original fast food.

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And males are equipped with seriously sharp tusks.

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She needs to take her time. But the longer she stays here,

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the longer Bill and Ben are alone.

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Bibi doesn't have the help of the pride to hunt.

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Lions are famous for hunting in groups. The whole pride teams up.

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Hunting is usually a job just for the ladies.

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The lead female starts to chase the prey

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and the others cut off its escape route.

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Like this, a pride can take down very large prey indeed.

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But remember, Bibi's alone and she's waiting

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for the perfect chance to strike. This looks like it.

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Did she get it?

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She did. Well done, Bibi.

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But it's just a small snack this time.

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Now supper's ready, Bill and Ben can come out of hiding.

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-They're following mum.

-CUBS CRY

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Well, you do have to pester mum when she's shopping!

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But this meat isn't for them just now.

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It's milk all the way for Bill and Ben.

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Still, at the speed they are growing up,

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it won't be long before mum will need to shop for three.

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Eli is struggling to stand.

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He's now six hours old and still hasn't been able

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to get up and reach his first meal of milk.

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There's nothing else for it - he just needs to stand up.

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The whole family have come back from feeding

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to be close to Eli and his mum.

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Eventually they all need to move on, with or without Eli.

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Don't give up, Eli. Keep trying.

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Look at that! He's using all his energy to stand up.

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He's doing it.

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Amazing!

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Eli's done it.

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He's managed to stand up and he's getting his first meal.

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What a relief!

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If he can get a good meal and get his energy back,

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he could be on the road to recovery.

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Let's hope so.

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Bibi has eaten well, and Bill and Ben have had a good meal of milk,

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but they're still keeping out of sight from the rest of the family.

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That lot are just down the road.

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-They've just woken from their nap.

-LION GROWLS

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Which, by the sounds of it, was a roaring success.

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Dad's the MANE man. His job is to protect his family

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and guard their territory against other lions.

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His roaring is an amazing sound

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and he uses that huge voice to say, "This is my patch. Keep off!"

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His roar can be heard all over this neighbourhood.

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It travels like a ripple in a pond across the open savannah.

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Bill and Ben can certainly hear it.

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And so can any other lion within five miles.

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Lions can tell a lot from each other's roar.

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Notch may sound impressive to us, but prides are usually run

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by a pair of males, providing double protection...

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which you need. Because when male lions fight,

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they can fight to the death.

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But for the Simba pride, Notch is the only adult male here.

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Other lions can work out from that roar that Notch is alone.

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The Simba pride are a ripe target for any young upstarts.

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And these two boys think Notch's time is up.

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They're just hanging around Notch's territory

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before mounting a takeover bid.

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And they're not in a good mood.

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This is bad news for Bill and Ben.

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New adult male lions will kill any young cubs they come across.

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Let's hope Mum, Bibi, knows some good hiding places.

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Back on Selkie's beach in Scotland,

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and he's still trying to get his first meal of milk from his mum.

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SEALS WAIL

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But she just won't let him.

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Come on, mum. He needs his milk.

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The noise on the beach is non-stop.

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But all the other pups round here are being fed.

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Young seals really need their milk. In just three weeks,

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they have to put on 30kg to get ready for a life at sea.

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The only way they can do that is by drinking lots and lots of milk.

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And they'll do that anywhere. And any way they can.

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Sadly for Selkie, Mum still seems exhausted and confused.

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He wanders off to see if he can get any milk

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from any of the other mum's on the beach.

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But he's getting no luck.

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This is awful.

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With the sun setting, Selkie faces the prospect

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of his first night alone on the beach.

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Come on, Mum!

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You've got to help him.

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For Eli, now that he's up on his feet, he needs to follow the herd.

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And although he's a bit shaky, he seems to be managing it for now.

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He's got a lot of support from the rest of his super-sized family.

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But there's still a long way to go.

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This elephant herd has a home range covering 1,500 square kilometres.

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That's an area the size of Greater London.

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And each day, they can walk the distance of a marathon -

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42km.

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Most of the herd won't bat an eyelid about that.

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But for little Eli, well, we'll just have to wait and see.

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He's had a bit of a wobbly start, but he's got so much more to learn.

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He'll probably spend at least the next five years

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with his mum and family before he's ready to go it alone.

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But even with his big family around him,

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a lot can happen to a young elephant in just five years.

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It's happened.

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The two young males intent on taking over the Simba pride

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have stumbled across Bill and Ben's hiding place.

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They look mean and if they find the cubs they WILL kill them.

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It just goes to prove how tricky growing up out here really is.

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This is Bill and Ben fighting for survival right here.

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Bibi's managed to keep the males at bay so far.

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But for how much longer?

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And now a herd of buffalo, with those dangerous horns,

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are closing in on the cubs' hiding place from the other side.

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They're caught between a rock and a hard place here.

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Mum, Bibi, is doing her best,

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but who knows if Bill and Ben can escape this?

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Next time on Wild Tales -

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have Bill and Ben managed to stay safe from the attacking males?

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Will Selkie's mum get her act together and start feeding her baby?

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And for Eli,

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wobbly legs are one thing but what do you do with a nose that big?!

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Find out next time on Wild Tales.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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E-mail [email protected]

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Wildlife documentary series. Bill and Ben the lion cubs learn to hunt, but they get into trouble with some rogue males. Eli, the elephant calf, is a runt struggling to survive. Selkie, the grey Scottish seal, is abandoned on a beach only a few hours after being born.


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