Children's wildlife documentary series. The cheetah cubs are growing up fast, but learning to hunt is dangerous. Zeb the zebra has to cross a raging river full of crocodiles.
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The world is full of amazing animal families.
Tales of life and death happen every day.
For the youngest members, growing up is tough, really tough.
These stories recreate their roller coaster lives here on Wild Tales.
We're following the stories of three fantastic animal characters.
Gamba, Koko and Zina are finally starting to look like hunters,
but time is running out.
For Koda the wolf, life in the creche is all fun and games,
but the pups are not alone.
And young Zeb is nearing the end of his migration,
where he will face his toughest challenge yet.
Follow their continued fight for survival in Wild Tales.
So where shall we start?
Let's catch up with our first family,
right in the heart of Africa on the plains of Tanzania.
Last time on Wild Tales,
Zeb was struggling to keep up with the pace of the migration,
and got lost at a waterhole.
And then, worst of all, his band were attacked by lions.
After surviving the lion attack,
thankfully for now, Zeb seems to be OK.
He's 6 months old now and the never-ending migration continues.
Although the lions are never far away,
they're leaving Zeb's band alone at the moment.
They have to keep moving -
the plains are drying out and the grass is dying.
And it's no wonder.
The temperature has topped 30 degrees Centigrade.
It's like an oven!
So the main threat to Zeb right now is this relentless heat.
Zeb doesn't know it, but soon it will start raining further south.
There will be lush green grass waiting when they arrive.
But for now, all he can see ahead of him is one big dust bowl.
But dust has its uses, as Zeb's mum well knows.
It's time for your bath!
But with no water, what's a young zebra supposed to do?
Watch and learn Zeb, watch and learn.
Dust bathing is surprisingly good for the skin.
It's like mum's beauty treatment,
and it basically gets rid of pesky parasites
leaving mum's skin silky smooth.
OK, well free of bugs and lice at least.
And even dad's getting in on the action.
Aah, that's better!
But all this mention of baths is making poor Zeb thirsty again,
and let's face it, you can't drink dust.
Let's hope the band can find some water soon.
Staying in Africa, we meet Zeb's neighbours,
just across the border in Kenya.
Last time on Wild Tales,
our trio of cheetah cubs were not doing well at cheetah school.
They kept chasing the wrong prey, and let the right prey escape,
and they were having trouble with the neighbours.
Now a year old,
the cubs are starting to look more like mum every day.
But our trio of cubs have struggled with cheetah school from day one.
We've seen them too scared to face their prey,
and as a rule they've been more interested in playing than learning.
More often than not they've shown themselves to be
a bit wet behind the ears.
But Zina, Koko and Gamba are running out of time.
Any day now, mum will leave and not come back.
School will be over, and there will be no re-takes or second chances.
They will have to be ready.
So back to the lessons, and more hunting practice.
Mum is trying to teach Gamba, Koko and Zina how to hunt
with mixed success. Gamba can't be bothered.
Now mum has spotted the perfect target for the youngsters.
It's a small antelope, and it should be no problem at all for the cubs.
Mum goes into stalking mode to show them how it's done.
But the cubs are too busy playing,
and the antelope see them coming a mile off.
Mum is at a loss.
How will her cubs ever make the grade?
They can't fall behind now. She'll have to leave them soon.
Every day is precious.
A third of the way round the planet are our next family,
living in the wilderness of Northern Canada.
Last time on Wild Tales, Koda the wolf pup finally left the den.
And while her pack struggled to find enough food,
Koda was showing the other pups who was boss.
Here in Canada, spring has well and truly sprung.
The meadow is the perfect playground for Koda and the other pups.
And just look at our pups now.
3 months old, and looking fit and healthy.
Koda is now in a creche with some other pups nearly the same age,
being looked after by their big sister.
This meadow is the ideal place to keep an eye on the pups
whilst the pack are away.
But big sis has got her paws full with this unruly lot.
Koda's always in the doghouse, getting up to all sorts of mischief.
All these pups are gonna need a lot of food,
so Koda's mum and dad have their work cut out,
leading the pack on yet another hunt.
But they aren't the only pack in the area.
A neighbouring pack are becoming a threat to the creche.
The cubs are hearing their howls in the distance more and more often.
If these intruders decide to move into the area
while Koda's mum and dad are away,
their big sis will not be able to protect them.
The other pack would kill the pups
in order to steal this prime territory.
But there is more bad news for Koda and the other pups.
In the woods at the edge of the meadow,
a bear is watching their every move.
Back in Africa and Zeb is hot and tired.
The band have already covered hundreds of miles,
and he still has no idea where they're going.
It's the hottest part of the day and time for a rest.
Zeb is desperately thirsty now.
It seems ages since he last had a drink.
Zebras have a clever way of locking their feet
so they can actually sleep while standing up.
They can stay in this position for hours quite comfortably.
Zeb is absolutely shattered
and doesn't even have the energy to stand like the others.
While Zeb and the rest of the band are resting, a sentry stands guard.
He's making sure no lions creep up on the group while they sleep.
Meanwhile, dad is having a good scratch up against a boulder.
Whilst Zeb and the others are resting,
they are plagued by flies and other pests.
It's enough to make a zebra jumping mad.
Top and tailing with your neighbour keeps some of the flies away.
But for the more persistent pests,
oxpecker neighbours are more than happy to lend a beak
and peck away the worst offenders.
These birds don't just peck oxen, as Zeb's band know all to well.
They're like living nit combs.
With the whole group so tired and thirsty,
they are at their most vulnerable.
Poor young Zeb is feeling it more than most.
Surely this trek has to end soon?
Cheetah school continues
and mum is persevering with the hunting lessons.
Zina shows an interest, but then mum takes over.
Once again, she's brought it back alive for the cubs to practice with.
It looks cruel,
but it is the only way the cubs can learn how to hunt properly.
Soon enough, these cubs will have to bring down prey
travelling at over 60mph.
It's incredibly difficult, and takes a lot of practice to perfect.
But the cubs are starting to speed up their chasing and tackling.
And they're completely happy dealing with live prey.
Mum is finally getting somewhere.
But the next lesson is even harder.
The cubs have to learn how to hunt by themselves.
Of course there is that small problem
of learning how to catch their own prey.
Some tough tasks ahead which they're gonna have to tackle.
Back in Canada and our wolf pups are safe with the babysitter.
But for how long?
The bear is still watching them,
and bears are the wolf pups' worst nightmare.
We already know that Koda's mum lost pups in the past
when a bear raided her den,
but for now this bear is just watching and waiting.
At least the neighbouring pack have gone quiet.
Mum and dad are still out hunting.
The pups need a constant supply of food.
They are quite a handful and Koda is one of the more boisterous pups.
Big sis, the pup sitter, can't keep control of Koda
and she's gone walk about.
This time she's been distracted by a hawk. There's always something.
She's wandered away from the creche.
It's just what the bear has been waiting for.
But the pup sitter has spotted the bear and calls to Koda.
Bears mainly feed on nuts and berries,
but sometimes they get a taste for meat.
Now this one has sniffed out Koda and the other pups,
he's not gonna want to leave.
Luckily Koda has come back to the creche, much to big sis's relief.
This cub sitting is a hard chore.
The bear is still hanging around.
He's getting hungry and he could easily grab a stray pup.
Koda mustn't wander off again.
The sitter won't be able to save her if the bear decides to attack.
For Zeb and his family back in Africa,
the heat has reached a peak and now the thunderclouds are building.
At last, the rains have arrived!
And when it rains here, you know about it.
This is what they have travelled hundreds of miles to find.
Zeb is so relieved, no more dust baths!
And other animals seem to be enjoying the rain too.
The downpour is great to start with,
but after a few hours of standing in it,
the novelty soon wears off.
OK, that's enough rain already!
The rain means the grass will start to grow here,
and Zeb and the band seem invigorated.
But all this rain means something else for Zeb and his family.
The last stage of their journey has become even more treacherous.
Ahead of them lies a river they must cross
in order to reach their grazing grounds.
The torrential rain has transformed the river into a raging current.
It's going to be a real challenge for Zeb,
and that's just the half of it.
Zina, Koko and Gamba are nearing the end of their schooling.
Mum will leave them any day now. They have to be able to hunt alone.
Zina has seen a topi with a calf and seems to be stalking it.
And she's off!
Zina doesn't yet have the speed or endurance of mum.
She's getting closer, but she's run too soon.
Zina has given up.
But now Koko is coming in to take over the relay.
Where's that lazy Gamba when you need him, girls?
And now the topi's mum is closing in on the sisters.
They must be regretting going after her calf.
Surrounded and scared, the cubs are calling for mum.
But Mum is just leaving them to it.
They have to learn the hard way.
The girls are back. Gamba seems pleased they're OK.
That was their first attempt at hunting prey together
and although they failed, they were so close.
But does this mean the trio will be able to hunt together as a team,
or will they forget everything they've learned at cheetah school?
The pup sitter has been under real pressure
with that grizzly bear hanging around,
but thankfully buffalo have moved into the area.
These giants are more than a match for the bear.
-A huge relieve for big sis, Koda and the other pups.
And now at last the pack have returned as well,
providing even more protection.
Koda is glad to have them back.
As the pack return they are greeted by the hungry pups
who pester them to regurgitate food.
Wolves don't have shopping bags to bring home the groceries,
so they store the food for the pups in their stomachs.
Koda and the others pups beg to one pack member after another
until they get some scraps. It may not sound that appetising,
but it's the best way to make sure the pups get enough food.
Soon the pups will be old enough to join in with the hunts,
but for now they are too young and inexperienced.
Make the most of being a pup, Koda.
Once you join the pack, life will be tough.
At last the herd reach the river, and as expected,
all the rain has swollen the rapids into a dangerous torrent.
The deadly currents could easily drag a youngster like Zeb under.
But as if the risk of drowning isn't enough...
Hungry crocs know this is where the migrating herds cross.
They are waiting, ready to grab any stragglers as they cross.
Zeb is a prime candidate.
He's easier for the crocs to get hold of.
Dad tries to find a safe spot to cross the river whilst Zeb looks on.
It's time to go.
Zeb's band start to cross the river.
The crocs move in.
Dad has made it across,
but one of the other band members is in trouble.
The crocs have got a zebra.
It's terrifying for Zeb, but he hasn't got a choice,
he has to follow the rest of his family.
If he doesn't, he will starve to death.
He has to go.
As he swims across, the crocs close in.
A croc goes for an adult,
It then turns to try and grab Zeb.
He escapes by the skin of his teeth.
Safely on the other side, Zeb rejoins dad and the band.
Not everyone has made it.
But Zeb will have to get used to the horrors of the river crossing.
It's the final stage of the great migration and is unavoidable.
Zeb will have to make this crossing many times throughout his life,
but this success means he stands a good chance of reaching adulthood.
Mum is leaving the cubs to hunt on their own more and more.
It's a sign that she will leave them for good soon.
She has taught them everything she knows
and their schooling is at an end.
Now it's up to them to practise and practise
until they become lean, mean hunting machines.
Zina has found a target to practise on in the form of a bat-eared fox.
She doesn't want to eat it, she just wants to hunt it.
And Koko is getting in on the act.
But the fox has had enough of this game.
Meanwhile, their brother Gamba is also practising his hunting.
He's found an Aardwolf.
His hunting has really come along well.
But this is one 'ard aardwolf.
And now he's chasing Gamba! How embarrassing!
So, it seems mum's lessons are finally over.
Our trio are happy to continue practising
and learning by themselves.
And they can deal with prey once they've caught it.
And they can hunt well together.
Mum can't really do much more for them.
One night very soon she will have to leave them.
It's time for her to find a new mate and raise more cubs.
If she goes, will Zina, Koko and Gamba be ready?
How will they cope without their mum?
Over the past few weeks,
the cubs have been aware of howls in the distance,
but these howls have not been from their own pack.
Mum and Dad know there are intruders nearby,
but they have been staying out of their territory.
The neighbouring pack have sent in a scout to check out Koda's pack.
If he's anything to go by, there could be trouble.
This is the worst possible news for Koda and the other pups.
If the neighbouring pack attack and try to take their territory,
the cubs will either be killed, or starve to death.
There is a stand off.
Koda's mum and dad will not give up easily.
They have chased the intruder away,
but he could be back with the rest of his pack.
Will Koda's pack be able to hold onto their territory?
It's not looking good for our wolf family.
Next Time on Wild Tales -
Will our cheetah cubs be able
to put all the skills they have learnt together,
and manage to hunt by themselves?
As winter arrives, how will Koda cope,
as her pack try to defend their territory?
And is young Zeb ready to leave his family and face a tough new world?
Find out next time on Wild Tales.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Children's wildlife documentary series. The cheetah cubs are growing up fast, but learning to hunt is dangerous. Zeb the zebra has to cross a raging river full of crocodiles on his migration. Koda the wolf pup's pack is threatened by a rival gang and a bear.