Documentary series. Selkie's mum returns, and he receives his first swimming lesson in the world's biggest washing machine.
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The world is full of amazing animals.
Tales of life and death happen every day.
For the youngest members, growing up's tough - really tough.
These stories recreate their roller-coaster lives...
here on Wild Tales.
We're following the stories of three fantastic animal characters.
Bill and Ben are lion cubs facing up to the fact that, even as a lion,
there's villains out there that want to harm them.
Eli the elephant's still getting the hang of all his bits and pieces.
And there's a long way to go.
And Selkie the seal's learning life's tough
and nobody on the beach wants to be his friend.
So who's up first today?
Well, hold on, we're about to find out.
First stop is the East African savannah,
and last time on Wild Tales, we left Bill, Ben and Mum Bibi
in all sorts of trouble.
A couple of villains had stumbled on them
and their escape route was cut off by a herd of buffalo.
Either the lions or the buffalo could have killed Bill and Ben
and since we left them last night, anything could have happened.
As the sun rises on the plains,
the two male lions are nowhere to be seen.
But those buffalo are still hanging around like a bad smell.
Thankfully, Bill and Ben have been tucked away deep in some bushes.
It's a huge relief for our stars, but they're not out of danger yet.
There's no sign of Mum Bibi.
She must have led the two male lions away.
But has she paid the ultimate price?
What are they doing? Where is Mum?
In the open, they're at the mercy of virtually everything that moves.
You name it - it could kill them.
Where is Mum when you need her?
Without her, the cubs are effectively dead already.
Bill is just beginning to realise,
but to Ben it's still one big game.
This is serious.
Their lives are hanging in the balance, if only they knew.
All sensible animals have found shade,
but Bill and Ben are out in the open.
They have to find Mum in the next couple of hours.
Without her milk and some shade, they won't survive the morning.
But right now, Mum's nowhere to be seen.
Is she alive?
The cubs just keep on moving.
By now, they're walking on their last legs.
200 miles south is the Amboseli game reserve.
Last time on Wild Tales,
Eli couldn't walk and the herd were leaving.
Without working legs and Mum Ella's milk, he wouldn't survive the day.
But he managed to stand and have his first drink.
When we left them, all was looking pretty good for Eli and his family.
Eli's stayed with the herd and controlled those wayward feet of his,
so it's time for everyone to have a drink and some grub.
Mum lets him know how proud she is with a rub of her trunk.
As she goes for a drink, Eli is coming to terms with his super-straw.
It's a nose, an arm, a hand and a trumpet all rolled into one -
a sort of Swiss army tool for elephants.
And this model comes with no instructions!
It even works as a bird scarer.
This multi-tool is impossible,
and that leaf's definitely got a mind of its own.
Mum shows him how it should be done because, well, she knows best.
But kids think they know better,
and that trunk thing just gets in the way.
He may have a lot to learn, but he has a huge family around him
and he won't be on his own for ten years.
That's plenty of time to master his trunk skills.
To make things even better for Eli,
the rainy season is beginning and the swimming pools are filling up.
Heaven if you're a young elephant!
4,500 miles north in bonny Scotland. Last time on Wild Tales,
Selkie was abandoned by his mum and faced his first night alone.
He needed milk and the only seal that could help him was Mum.
He'd never even met his dad.
It was just the two of them in this family,
and without Mum, he wouldn't live to see the next day.
It's a freezing cold morning, but if Mum
didn't find Selkie last night, he won't have lived to see sunrise.
And Selkie's busy with breakfast. He's one lucky pup, for sure!
Mum's chosen an empty corner of the beach to keep Selkie safe.
It's lonely, but at least it's quiet.
It's like he's super-glued to her!
When you're a young seal, it's all about getting fat in a hurry.
The three litres of milk he'll drink a day
has more fat than eight blocks of butter.
Anyone would think he'd pop soon!
But seals don't pop - they balloon. Check out the size of that dude!
To drink heavily, you need to avoid trouble.
So Mum keeps Selkie safe, away from the centre of the beach.
Only 200 metres away, and it's rammed with blubber.
Seal mums are scrapping for space everywhere. But when you're small,
it's easy to get caught in the crossfire.
That pup was nearly flattened!
And that one's nearly drowning. Phew! That was close.
Don't laugh, Selkie! He may be Mum's first pup,
but she's keeping him out of trouble.
She's not so bad after all.
Back in the Masai Mara, temperatures have already reached 35 degrees
and Bill and Ben are nowhere to be seen.
They got separated from Mum Bibi after their run-in with the buffalo.
They wandered into the long grass looking for her,
but now there's no sign of them.
Mum IS alive and searching for Bill and Ben
and she just won't give up.
Where are they?
If our cubs are in the sun, they'll be dead by now.
As the day goes on, temperatures soar. It's like an oven out there.
She walks miles and miles.
She calls for Bill and Ben.
Finally, tired and exhausted, she heads for the shade
of the only tree on the plain.
Look at that! Amazingly,
Bill and Ben made it back to the tree house on their own.
They've been alone for almost a day. They're starving.
So Mum serves dinner...
..and gives them a cooling bath while she's at it.
Another couple of hours and it would have been too late.
There's nothing better than being back with Mum.
But to keep providing milk, she'll have to eat, as well,
and she's got her dinner on her mind - wildebeest.
These take some catching.
And without babysitters, she has no choice
but to leave the cubs alone again.
Back in Eli's world, the heavens have opened.
The wet season has really kicked off.
It's raining cats and dogs,
and most of the neighbours are wet, wet, wet!
But it's W-ELLY heaven for our family,
and like all kids, Eli's making the most of it.
# ..Make 'em feel good about themselves
# You got to love everybody
# Make 'em feel good about themselves... #
When you weigh as much as three cars,
getting in the water must be sheer bliss.
But Eli takes some persuading to get in the swimming pool.
He's got to get used to the water,
cos elephants travel miles every day and have to cross rivers and marshes.
# ..Love everybody
# Make 'em feel good about themselves
# You got to love everybody
# Make 'em feel good about themselves... #
Eli is using Mum's trunk as a giant armband.
He doesn't look too sure about this swimming lark.
Until he finds food, that is.
After a long soak,
Eli is allowed to get out, because it's time to go walkabout.
Back in Scotland, Selkie's seven days old.
He's put his towel down on the ultimate sun lounger.
When you're young, lying around is just SO boring.
Mum can only watch you for so long.
So Selkie goes looking for new drinking buddies.
But it's easy to get lost in a crowd, so Mum follows, just in case.
It's all about getting strong, cos seals swim miles every day.
The big kids are huge. They're only a couple of weeks older than him.
The beach is no place for a small seal on an exploring mission.
Suddenly, our pint-sized star realises he's well out of his depth.
He can't see Mum, but she recognises his voice.
He'd got a bit big for his flippers.
If he's gonna wander off again, Mum had better teach him to swim.
It's time for Selkie's first surf lesson.
Back with Bill and Ben, and Mum is getting herself a bite to eat.
She's off. She's quick! Wildebeest are running everywhere.
She's got it.
Well done, Mum.
This is a big day. It's the twins' first steak.
From now on, it's meat for the rest of their lives.
It won't be long before they have to learn to hunt for themselves.
But the whole prospect of this meat mountain is a little scary.
They start to unwrap their first African takeaway.
Oi! That's Mum's tail!
But nothing stays secret in this town for long.
The neighbours are looking over the fence and they like what they see.
But they're definitely NOT friendly.
There's enough food for everyone,
but the hyenas don't see it that way.
It's all about numbers, and they just keep on coming.
Lions and hyenas hate each other.
Bill and Ben are in serious danger if they hang around here.
Bibi's hungry, but the cubs' safety comes first,
so they leave the gang to it.
Lions usually live in large families,
and Bibi needs help raising these kids.
So where are the main pride? Well, they're never far away.
Lion families live on the edge of violence all the time.
If you do anything wrong when you're a small lion - even smell wrong -
one swipe of a paw is all it would take.
So far, Bill and Ben have kept away.
But when they're old enough, they'll rejoin the pride.
For now, they're safer alone with Mum, even if it means
she can't feed well. She'll just have to sniff out another snack
and hope the cubs will be OK on their own.
But nothing's guaranteed out here.
Eli's worked out what his trunk can do and he's had a long bath.
Mum Ella knows that beyond the huge river are lush forests
that will be food through the coming dry season.
And it's her experience that keeps the herd alive.
When you're four metres tall,
nothing stops you, but tiny Eli is finding his first marathon
more than a little tough.
All that rain has turned the ground into a chocolate skating rink.
Oh, poor Eli!
Eli hasn't completely mastered his new pins.
It's just one battle after another for him.
This growing up lark is exhausting.
He's looked after by lots of sisters, aunts, cousins and other ladies.
An elephant herd is almost all girls, and they're all related.
They're the bosses here and wherever they go, Eli follows,
no matter how difficult and dangerous it gets for our star.
And this could be his biggest challenge yet.
Eli is about to attempt what may turn out to be his first -
and last - river crossing.
The current is strong - maybe too strong for Eli.
And after that mammoth trek, he's exhausted.
More calves die like this than in any other way.
He must be terrified, but if he doesn't go soon,
he'll be left behind.
He's going under. The current's just too strong.
The herd call to him on the other side, and the adults realise
that to continue is suicide for Eli.
They've turned back.
But with the rivers rising and the herd on the other side,
it's only a matter of time before he has to cross again.
Up in Scotland, the water may be colder,
but Selkie is built for it.
Being a non-swimmer isn't an option, so it's time for his first lesson.
Our surf dude can't use armbands,
so he'd better find his water wings...fast!
This is the ultimate paddling pool
and Mum shields him from the worst of the waves.
That one had him!
And again! Being fat comes in pretty handy
when you're thrown around like this.
It's like a giant washing machine, and this is only gentle action!
Next door's lot are learning too, but they're not a patch on Selkie.
He caught that one a treat! ..Well, nearly!
The mini torpedo looks more like a fish out of water.
He's right on it now. This is a whole load of fun!
When storms hit,
he'll really have something to worry about.
That sea can get pretty rough at times.
But for now, it's playtime.
A kiss for Mum.
After a final rinse cycle, he's got it nailed.
How about a round of applause?
But Selkie hasn't made it yet.
Something else is lurking in the water. This could be his downfall.
Huge males are arriving in the surf.
They're nearly three times heavier than Mum, and that's heavy.
These guys are here to fight for ladies.
If Selkie's caught underneath them,
it'll all be over before it's even begun.
Hold on tight, Mum.
As darkness falls, it's now or never for Eli. He's rested, but starving
and with the river still rising, he has no option but to try again.
The current's even stronger and he's lost his footing already.
Surely this is curtains for our star.
He's almost going under.
It'll be a miracle if he makes it.
With the fastest stretch of water to swim in darkness,
things look anything but good.
But they're coming back for him.
It's almost too dark to see now.
Imagine how terrified Eli must be.
Will he even have the energy to climb the river bank?
The adults have made it.
And there's our star,
battered but alive and in the right place to live through the dry season.
And that's what counts.
All looks quiet on the African plains.
The cubs are home alone.
After losing her kill to the hyenas,
Mum's gone off to find herself a snack.
It's all right for Bill and Ben.
They've already eaten, so they're busy playing,
and after all they've been through, they're doing pretty well.
What Bill and Ben don't know is that the rest of their family,
the ones they haven't met yet, are only half a mile away.
And they're seriously close to those elephants.
But lions don't give way easily.
Here come the heavies.
Guess it's time to move. Oops.
King of the beasts?
This lot look like they've lost their crown for sure.
But they're heading towards Bill and Ben.
This is so unlucky.
Of all the directions to choose.
And if they stumble across our two stars, who knows what will happen?
Bill and Ben are too young to bump into their family just yet.
At this age, they could be killed,
especially if Mum isn't around.
The pride have found Bill and Ben, and Mum's not there to protect them.
Bill's calling out for Mum, but it won't do any good.
This is torture for our cubs.
If the pride don't recognise their family smell,
Bill and Ben stand no chance.
They could even be killed by accident.
Our stars are getting hit again and again
as each lion comes to check them out.
Just don't bite.
One wrong move and our brothers are history.
Next time on Wild Tales...
Will Bill and Ben be accepted into the pride?
At this stage, anything could happen.
Will Eli fully recover from his brush with a watery grave?
Mum's got a surprise for him if he does.
As a storm batters Selkie's world, the huge males gear up for a fight.
Does it spell double trouble for Selkie?
Find out next time on Wild Tales.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Documentary series. Bill and Ben have managed to escape the marauding lions, but find themselves home alone and in desperate need of a meal. Selkie's mum returns, and he receives his first swimming lesson in the world's biggest washing machine. Meanwhile, Eli is battling to come to terms with his odd nose.