Episode 3 Wild Tales


Episode 3

Documentary series. Eli has survived his brush with a watery grave, but as temperatures soar he has to come up with new ways of staying alive.


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Transcript


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The world is full of amazing 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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This week, we're following three fantastic animal characters.

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Bill and Ben are two young lion cubs

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realising that, even with family around, they're still not safe.

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Eli's going great guns in his jumbo family,

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a family that's about to get bigger.

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And Selkie the seal's trying to keep out of trouble,

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but he's got a seriously stormy future ahead of him.

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So where do we start?

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Well, it's about time we found out.

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First stop is the east African savannah.

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Last time, Bill and Ben bumped into their family for the first time.

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It was a disaster waiting to happen.

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Without Mum for protection, they could have been killed

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by their own family.

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Have our two stars survived?

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Well, there's the pride, but there's no sign of Bill or Ben.

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It isn't easy becoming part of this gang,

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and the brothers could have been killed by accident.

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After all, adult lions are built to kill.

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And the meeting had "disaster" written all over it.

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Where are they?

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Suddenly, our two stars are bounding out of the long grass.

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And they're on top form, alive and licking.

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This is a HUGE turn of events for the youngsters,

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because if you're part of the gang, life in the bush is much easier,

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even if you do become the local punch-bag...

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But don't for a minute think it's all plain sailing from here.

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Just one crunch of those jaws and Bill and Ben are history.

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So Mum's doing her best to keep their dad Notch happy,

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which leaves the cubs to do what they do best.

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If you want Dad to look after you, you'd better hope he likes you,

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so Bill and Ben do their best to make sure he does.

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Now they have a huge family,

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our stars have got older brothers and sisters to play with.

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When you roll around with all your mates, you begin to smell like them,

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and this is the first challenge in becoming part of the pride.

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Bill and Ben are the smallest of these big-cat kids,

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so they'd better watch themselves.

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200 miles south is the Amboseli game reserve.

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Last time on Wild Tales,

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as the rains kept on falling, Mum Ella led Eli into a raging torrent.

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He was up to his neck in trouble.

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But unbelievably, he managed to haul himself to safety.

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Since that fateful day, Eli's been growing up like a rocket,

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and he's bound to have crossed loads of rivers since then.

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Hold on...! Something's different.

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Eli's got tusks!

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His teeth have come through at last,

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and he's busy keeping unwanted pests off his vegetable patch.

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When you're three, you've got more guts than common sense,

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but Eli's not sure about these odd-looking beasts,

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so he and a couple of mates chase 'em out of town.

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And with his new-found tusks,

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he has another weapon in his armory, even if they're not up to much yet.

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It'll be 30 years before he needs them for fighting,

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and together they'll eventually weigh as much as two grown men -

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tough enough for the biggest of battles.

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For now, they're another essential multi-tool to add to his collection.

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At this time of year, acacia trees have luscious leaves

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for Eli's family to chew on,

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and they're doing some serious tree surgery, elephant style.

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Their overgrown teeth

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act as giant skewers and bull-dozing aids, all in one.

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The family need their tusks to help them find the 150kg of food

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that each of them needs every day, and finding that is no push-over.

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Eli's family are the ultimate jumbo gardeners.

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But with things about to get a lot drier,

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Eli had better save his energy.

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4,500 miles north, on the Scottish coast.

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Last time on Wild Tales...

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Selkie started swimming lessons,

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and he turned into a right little water baby.

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But huge males were lumbering on to the beach for a fight.

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Selkie could have been squashed if he hung around.

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Selkie's managed to balloon in size.

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He's put on 15kg in the last nine days.

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The ultimate couch potato.

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But it's only halfway for our furry waste disposal unit,

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and time is running out.

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He's still not fat enough,

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and it'll only be a couple of weeks before he hits the open ocean.

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But right now, he's got more pressing issues.

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Selkie's beach is being watched.

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Male seals are still lumbering out of the sea,

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and have got the ladies in their sights.

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The beach is positively groaning

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under the weight of these super-slugs.

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Each male is out to become beach-master,

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the strongest man in town, because when you're at the top of the pile,

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you get the girls.

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Round one.

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Wow, they're quick!

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Selkie's gotta be careful. Angry dads-to-be often squash pups.

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They move amazingly quickly, and weigh three times as much as Mum.

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Great upper cut...

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It's a knockout!

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The champion wants a trophy wife, and Selkie's mum is in his sights.

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And he's not the only one.

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It's now doubly dangerous for Selkie.

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He's got to keep away from this lot.

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Mum's certainly not interested in any admirers,

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so she gives as good as she gets.

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Now, Selkie has time to make his escape.

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Let's just hope he's OK on his own.

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Three months later, and it still hasn't rained.

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Things are really hotting up for Eli.

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It's 40 degrees in the shade, and he's cooking.

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Your thermostat doesn't work quite as well when you're this small,

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and in this heat, all the water has nearly dried up.

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It's not just Eli that is feeling hot, hot, hot.

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Those zebs look like they've been put on a barbecue already,

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And with his head so close to the sun, he's gotta be really careful.

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But Eli's learnt a couple of tricks from the grown-ups.

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Those huge ears are giant radiators and fans all rolled into one,

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so if you wave them around, life's a lot cooler.

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But when the fans don't work,

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time to apply factor 50 in the remains of a hidden waterhole.

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Eli doesn't need someone else to put cream on his back.

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He's got it covered.

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It's important to get that mud mask to a perfect consistency

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so Eli's aunts dig in and kick up a right mess.

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And Eli's getting a free spray-on tan.

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Absolute heaven.

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Until it gets in his eyes...

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Getting out seems like madness,

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especially when he's having this much fun,

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but let's face it, mud tastes horrible.

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And there's nothing like a dusting-down

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while you soak up the sun's rays.

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It's all about killing time

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until Mum is ready to give birth...again.

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She's looking massive,

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which means there's a brother or sister on the way for Eli very soon.

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So, when you're part of the gang, life's easy, right?

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In the heat of the day,

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there's little point in doing anything at all,

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so Bill and Ben kick back with their new family

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and this is like one giant fur rug.

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And they'd better get used to it - lions sleep 20 hours a day.

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A sleep so deep, that nothing could wake them.

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But Bill and Ben look like they've got ants in their pants.

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Suddenly it's a hive of action out there.

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The pride have chosen to share their siesta with some African bees.

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These guys pack one giant punch.

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Even Dad turns into a big pussy cat.

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Bibi goes to investigate.

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Bad move, Mum.

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This lot ain't moving home, however nicely you ask 'em.

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The brothers are on to a losing battle.

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But it's hot, and Bill and Ben had better find some safer shade - fast.

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Back in Scotland, Selkie's found a safe haven away from the action.

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But the tide's come in... and caught him out.

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He's marooned on a rock,

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and the waves are really starting to pick up.

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Selkie may be able to swim, but like any surfer knows,

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nothing is more lethal than where big waves meet sharp rocks.

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He's dangerously close to the edge.

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If he gets washed in, it could be the end for our seal star.

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Beneath the water, there's a storm brewing,

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and above, the wind's picking up.

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Selkie's really landed himself in it this time.

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Where is Mum when he needs her?

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He's got to get away from the edge.

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-HE WAILS

-There's not a chance of Mum hearing him.

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Oh, no! He's been washed in!

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But his surf lessons have saved his life,

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and he's managed to haul himself to safety.

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There's a future for this guy yet.

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But big waves can mean only one thing -

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there's a storm brewing, and he's gotta get off those rocks,

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and find Mum, fast.

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Eli's herd are still cooking in the African sun

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and he's not keen on moving.

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He knows Mum is about to take him and the herd on another marathon...

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And it's just too hot.

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Come on! Up, up, up!

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Mum makes the decisions in this family cos she knows best,

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and Eli still needs her milk, so he has no option but to follow.

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They walk...

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and walk...

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and walk...

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And by the end of the day Eli is exhausted.

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As the sun slips below the horizon - cue night vision -

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the herd soon stops for the grown-ups have some grub...

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..which gives Eli plenty of time

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to test out his new tusks on the nearest volunteer.

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That done, it's time for bed on a mattress of grass,

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After all this rough food, Eli's stomach is like a witch's cauldron.

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RUMBLING

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Bark, milk, leaves... No wonder he's producing all this gas!

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And lying down doesn't exactly help matters.

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No spell is gonna stop it becoming incredibly windy overnight.

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But why has Mum stopped here?

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By the sounds of it, the food isn't up to much.

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And she certainly can't get comfortable.

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We'll have to wait until dawn to find out why.

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THUNDER RUMBLES

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Back in the Masai Mara, it's tipping down.

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And our big cats really hate it.

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But for Bill and Ben, life's one huge game.

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Rough and tumble in the rain might sound like fun

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but Bill's becoming the local punch-bag.

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When you're the smallest, you're at the bottom of the pile,

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and life without Mum isn't much fun either...

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So it's best to ride out the storm with her,

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and leave the other kids to it. Bullies!

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But as usual, Ben is giving as good as he gets.

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And it's time to go out with the big kids.

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Ben's spotted something.

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Hamerkop's on his menu.

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Bibi keeps a beady eye on the trouble makers,

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and Bill's more than happy next to Mum.

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With prey this size, Ben's waiting for back-up.

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Subtle as a brick, you lot! A lot more practice needed.

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Oh, well... Time to work out who's boss,

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cos when you're a young lion, being top cat is what it's all about,

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and practice makes perfect.

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Go on, hit me!

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Hit me again! I'm gonna hit you now!

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Some of the biggest waves on the planet pound the Scottish coast.

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They can be as big as an eight-storey building.

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And this storm is something special.

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70mph gusts whip up the sand and hurtle it through the air

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like flying daggers.

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Selkie has made it back to the beach.

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He's alone, and being sand-blasted, literally.

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If he keeps his eyes open, he'll be blind in seconds.

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He certainly can't see Mum, and at the other end of the beach,

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she is powerless to help.

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It doesn't matter how old you are - it's a living nightmare out there.

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Seals are simply not designed to be on land,

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and with worse weather to come,

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Selkie really needs to be in the sea as soon as he can be.

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It's all he can do to keep his nose and eyes shut.

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He hasn't seen Mum for nearly a day now, and he really needs milk.

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How long can this storm last?

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He's almost buried and hasn't moved for hours.

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Come back soon, Mum, Selkie needs you.

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Back in Eli's world, and dawn's nearly here.

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TRUMPETING

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That's one antisocial alarm clock!

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What is all that noise for?

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Eli looks like he's spotted something.

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Wow! It's Eli's brand-new sister Ebony,

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sliding around on her own personal water bed.

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Well done, Ella!

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The family all crowd around for a better look at the new arrival.

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TRUMPETING

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Listen to that noise - it'll be heard a mile off!

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So this was why Ella was acting strangely.

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She needed to be somewhere safe to have Ebony.

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She must be exhausted, and certainly won't have much time for Eli now.

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Ebony's up in minutes, not like her brother.

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She obviously has the strength to cause real trouble in the future.

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This is one seriously tough little Miss.

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She sucks her elephant thumb for comfort...

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but what does her arrival mean for Eli?

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Mum certainly can't pull pints for two hungry mouths,

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and Ebony is bound to get all the attention.

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It's gonna be tough for Eli, for sure.

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With the rains just a dream,

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our pride have FINALLY found peace and quiet for the ultimate catnap.

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Bill and Ben are snug in the scrubland creche...

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But they don't know a herd of buffalo is getting ever closer.

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And buffalo HATE lions with a passion.

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If the buffs spot our cubs, who knows what could happen.

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Half of Bill and Ben's family is fast asleep.

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They've smelt the lions.

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And from here on out, this can surely only go one way.

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The lions react, but is it too late?

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The buffs know the pride is there, but they just can't see them,

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and until they do, our cubs are safe.

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The Simba family is surrounded. They have nowhere to go.

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It doesn't matter how big you are.

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In this situation, it's simply all about staying alive.

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Bibi distracts the buffalo.

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And most of the cubs use the distraction to try and hide.

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Bibi's putting her life on the line for Bill and Ben.

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But not everyone makes it to safety.

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Mum's running circles round the buffs, but she can't do it forever.

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Where are Bill and Ben?

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Have they survived?

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Will they live to roar another day?

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Next time on Wild Tales.

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Will Bill and Ben make it through the buffalo attack?

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Will Selkie pull through the storm, and find his mum?

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And how will Eli deal with having to share Mum Ella with his new sister?

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Find out next time, on Wild Tales.

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Eli has survived his brush with a watery grave, but as temperatures soar he has to come up with new ways of staying alive. Selkie seeks to escape males fighting on the beach, but ends up marooned on a rock island. And Bill and Ben join the Simba family pride, but then have to deal with angry bees - and mum and dad are powerless to help.


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