Richard Hammond and Julia Bradbury host this live global wildlife event. For three weeks they will follow the real life and death struggles of baby animals from around the world.
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For wild baby animals, this is the most critical time in their young
lives. Right aRos the planet, May is their make or break month. Over
the next three weeks, we are going to be following some of their
stories as they struggle for survival. In Africa, Moja the lion
cub and his mum are desperately looking for food. In North America,
bear cubs Herbie and Fern face the prospect of freezing to death when
a sudden snow fall catches them out. And in Sri Lanka, baby macaquee
gremlin is growing up in a tough society.
Hello and welcome to Planet Earth Live. It has begun at last. Let me
formally welcome you to the Masai Mara, magnificent. It's also night.
I'm coming to you, as the name suggests, live from the heart of
Kenya right now. Planet Earth Live is truly a global event. Julia
Bradley is 8,000 miles away where this critical month is affecting
the lives of a very different cast of baby animals.
It's 1.50 here in Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes and home to
about 25,000 black bears. That's why I'm here. It's one of North
America's last great wildernesss. This is how Planet Earth Live the
series is going to work. Right around the globe, May is a
critical time in the natural world. We've sent teams of experts out
across the plan Tote capture the drama of this incredible time of
year. -- across the planet to. In the nor
them hemisphere, it's spring. Baby animals take their first tentative
steps. As well as our black bears, Herbie and Fern, we'll follow the
fortunes of mickey and Luca, newly emerged polar bears. In the tropics,
May brings the end of the rain aye season.
The rains in Africa and Asia have triggered a baby elephant bonanza
in Kenya. But for our lion cubs, times are hard. May brings big
challenges for other young animals. Young giant otters in Peru, tiny
meerkat pups in South Africa. And a family of macaques in Sri Lanka.
In California, this time of year marks the start of the perilous
grey whale migration and changes the life of a very special sea
otter pup. We'll be following their stories in
this, the most important month for baby animals in the natural world.
We genuinely have no idea what their fate will be. These are real
animals, real lives in real time. You will be able to follow them
every step of the way right here and on the web where you will get
the very latest news as it comes in. So, over the next three weeks, this
tent is going to be my home and I would like you to join me here live
in the heart of what is one of the wildest places on the planet, the
Masai Mara. I've begun the whole thing with hat hair - my mistake.
I'm going to be following the lives of the predator that really has put
this place on the map. The lion. Lions are the only cats that live
in family groups, in the pride raising cubs is all about team work.
The mums hunt together, bringing back meat for all the family. But
not all cubs are this lucky. This is Moja. His name means one in
civil war hily or loner. He has no problems or sisters, he and his
mother are outcasts, they are alone and Moja is facing starvation right
now. He's in real trouble. We have no idea what the future holds for
him. All we can say right now, as we begin Planet Earth Live is that
we know the odds are stacked heavily against him.
Moja is only five months old so he's a bit like a toddler really.
His mother's milk gives him a bit of comfort, but we won't survive
without solids. It's up to his mum to make sure he gets them. As a
single parent, she's having a hard time keeping him going. At this
time of year, there is very little prey. That really brings us to the
very reason of why we are here at this time of year and genuinely
just before we went live somebody reported and in fact we saw a
buffalo over there. There may be a hippo over there. Anything may
happen. The fact is though, those are one of the few animals still
remaining here and big prey like that to a single mother like Moja's
mum really represent one heck of a challenge. As far as she's
concerned, the cupboard is bare right now.
In the dry season, there are more wild animals walking across these
plains than anywhere else on earth. But we're here in the middle of the
rainy season. The wildebeest are on their way, but right now, they're
200 mails to the south. This is the hardest time of year to
be a lion -- 200 miles to the south. If the adults have it tough, the
cubs have it even tougher. Straightaway I think if we are
going to get an idea of Moja's situation, we should take a proper
look at him with some films we've made. Let's take a look at the
little fella. You can see just how lonely he is, first of all. That
actually is a problem straightaway. You don't have to see an expert to
see he's one vulnerable little lion. You can see ribs and hips and even
lying down is hard work. He's in serious need of a good meal.
Right now, his mum needs to be out hunting for him to bring him the
solid food he so desperately needs. And the good news is, she seems to
be one heck of a mum. She has been out hunting for him, which is what
we wanted to see. So we are going to show you some film of that. We
have with us, for this whole exercise for the next three weeks,
some of the best cameramen and women in the world so we can show
you some astonishing stuff. Take a lack at this.
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 47 seconds
That, to be honest, is one of many such hunts we hope to be able to
bring you. I wanted to just show off some of the camera work. It was
absolutely magnificent. The problem is, what happens next,
I have to say. If you are a parent, you may be a bit skwee mish because,
well, it gets a little tricky. You may be shifting in your seat, but
this is what happened. Trust me, she is a good mum, really a good
mum. Here is what I'm going on about. She's caught - and that's
good - but she's eating it. All of it. That's because she really is
Moja's only chance. She needs to keep herself fit and well so she
can feed him. She's not being a bad mum. She will take that back to him
in the form of milk. If you have cats at home by the way and see
what is about to happen right now and you think, my cat does that,
mine do that and I have six. That milk will be comforting but not
enough to keep him alive. Straightaway, a bit of drama with
Moja. The point of this exercise is, he's out there right now in the
Moja's situation is desperate. Mum heads off again to try and find
something to eat. This time, Moja decides to follow her.
It's a very risky strategy. Moja is weak with hunger and following her
is putting his life in danger. He's not safe out on the open plains.
But it's make or break time for this little lion. He's literally
starving to death. It's a very brave decision, but is it the right
one? In the rainy season, the grass grows tall and mum makes full use
A passing elephant calf has nothing A good sized warthog is much more
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 47 seconds
To get his strength back, he needs to feed for at least a few hours.
These hyenas are hungry too and they want a piece of the action. On
her own, going head-to-head with hyenas is potentially deadly. His
mum faces a terrible dilemma. Moja needs to eat and eat well. With
night falling, will she flee or And moments like this are exactly
what the show is going to be all about, real life animals making
life-and-death decisions right now. So did she make the decision? I'll
leave you with a cliff hanger, we'll find out later on because
right now we are going to cross a third of the way around the globe
to Julia Bradbury in Minnesota. Welcome back to the Northwoods of
Minnesota 16 miles south of the Canadian border, 8,000 miles away
from Richard and this is really bear country. The cubs are about
three-and-a-half months old. Over the next few weeks, you will get to
know the bear families very, very well. Bear families like yule yet
and her three little ones. Shs the hand some Juliet, a favourite of
mine, this is her with her three cubs, Sam, Sybil and Sophie. She's
an experienced parent, this is her fourth litter and they are healthy
and suckling well. Let's meet her baby trio team. Sam is a male
little cub, he's adventurous, boisterous and look, he's just that
little bit accident prone as Welch oops. There we go. Sophie is much
more laid back. This is his sister, the one underneath Sam. Yes, he can
be quite annoying, but don't worry, she gives as good as she gets.
Feisty little one that one. And finally, this fare faced cutey is
Sybil, the smallest and most fragile but certainly has a lot of
spirit. We have been a part of the cubs' lives from the beginning for
months. We have had cameras in their dens. Look at this. This is
the Den Cam from not so long ago. What I want you to do particularly
is listen to the noises that emerge Even in the den, the cubs are
communicating with their mother, each little cry means something
different, can you roll over so I can suckle you, you are sitting on
me mum or I'm hungry mum. We'll learn so much about bear noises
over the next few weeks. A month hag here, things went a little bit
wrong for the bears and it's all down to the weather which turned on
its head and that caused chaos. Normally Minnesota should be under
a foot of snow at this time of year. But with the early arrival of
spring, it looks like this. The melting snow flooded Juliet's den.
She was forced to evacuate and move her cubs above ground a full month
before they were ready to face the outside world. Juliet had to find a
safe place for them and created a day bed underneath a large red pine
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 47 seconds
With the weather warming up, it It was now that Juliet's experience
really paid off. She knew she had to keep her cubs dry and warm
during the snowstorm. She literally licked the snow flakes off their
I can hear your hearts melting at home at the sight of the cubs. Take
a listen again to that noise, the humming noise of the cubs. That is
the sound of a content cub. You will normally hear that when a cub
is suckling. Juliet is an experienced mum, caring and
attentive and aware and experience out here can make all the
difference between life-and-death. Jewel is a first time mum. She's
got two little cubs, Herbie and Fern and her lack of experience is
not working out well for Herbie and Fern. Herbie is shaking up in the
tree. He shouldn't be really up on a tree, he should be on a day bed
warm. Herbie and Fern have been put in real danger inadvertently by
their mum. Find out how they fare later on. We have a Den Cam and
Hammond cam. There he is, just there.
Thank you. We take the trouble to link up live all around the globe
and you have an odd pop at me. See you in a bit, Julia. We are live
all around the globe right now. Julia's there in Minnesota. We
might have saved a few quid on the globe, that's not an expensive
special effect. That's me in the Masai Mara and that's Sri Lanka. No
expense spared there, I made that myself. Gavin is following the
macaques in Sri Lanka, one in particular.
Meet Gremlin. She's a nine week old toque macaque. She's very cute but
very fragile. Macaque society has a strict pecking order. Gremlin's mum
is near the very bottom of the pile, making Gremlin pretty much the
lowest of the low in a dangerous world.
Apart from the squabbles within the troop, there are large and country
reptiles living in the forest. Hunting dogs are a problem too.
Tiny babies like Gremlin would be a welcome meal. If that wasn't enough,
this busy road cuts right through the territory.
So it's no surprise that one in three babies will die before
reaching their first birthday. I really hope Gremlin isn't that
one. To survive, young Gremlin is going
to have to learn fast and keep her What I love is that they play out
their daily dramas against this beautiful backdrop of this ancient
ruined city. It's a good time of year and
they've got six newborn babies in this troupe. They all look very
similar, even to the trained eye. What singles Gremlin out to me is
that she's often on her own away from mum and has a distinctive
white tip on her tail. Gremlin's mother is your typical
working mum. Hard at work foraging during the day to feed herself and
to produce enough milk for Gremlin. Gremlin just gets under her feet.
So for this little monkey, learning life's lessons will have to be done
the hard way. On her own. Luckily, she's a
confident young monkey, happy to venture away from the safety of her
mother's arms. Happy to shadow the infants, you can see her working
out what she should be doing to fit into this society. May in Sri Lanka
is seriously hot. Today, the temperature's well into the 30s.
Gremlin needs to learn how to cool For the older macaques, a mere
puddle won't do and confidence It's going to be a while before
Gremlin tries these stunts. Now, after all that paddling around,
she's worked up quite an appetite. Being the adventurous type, she's
She's got a year to a year-and-a- half before she's fully weaned and
until then, milk will always be best.
At last, she's reunited with mum. She gets the cuddle and milk she
needs. Gremlin's life down the bottom of
the pecking order is always going to be precarious. For tonight,
she's back in the safety of her mother's arms.
Come on, tell me your face isn't doing this. They are gorgeous! I
must mention, by the way, because you will have noticed it's the
rainy season here in Kenya and it's started in a big way. It's really,
really seriously rain, but we'll carry on as long as we can, I'm
sure we couldn't have any problems. Now, I've had it explained to me
that it's late to talk to Gavin right now because he's two-and-a-
half hours ahead of us in Kenya which mean he's four-and-a-half
hours of you in the UK, being live around the UK is very, very
complicated. Gavin's in bed, so I spoke to him earlier on.
Gavin, your heart has to go out to Gremlin, but life at the bottom of
the heap was never going to be easy. Realistically, what do you think
our chances of survival are? think Gremlin's chances are high.
She's a feisty little monkey and her mum is looking after her, so I
think she's got a good chance of surviving. Did you know as soon as
you clapped eyes on her that she was going to be a major character
for you to follow? The honesty is, a lot of monkeys
look very similar and she stood out initially just because of that
white tail, but she's turned out to be one of the pluckiest little
youngsters. On the issue of looks, Gavin, you
spend a lot of time following these and we are looking forward to
finding out more, but they've got a face really only a mother could
love, I'm being polite?! I've actually got a picture of you
as a baby here, Richard. I think they're great looking little babies.
Great looking babies. I know they look like Gremlins, but no, I love
'em! We wish little Gremlin the very
best. You've filmed here quite a lot haven't you?
Yes, I've been to the Masai Mara countless times, I'm jealous you
are there but I'm also pleased to be here in Sri Lanka with the
monkey group. Yeah, it's been raining here mostly. Thank you very
much though, we look forward to talking to you later in the week.
We wish you all the very best and the best to little Gremlin. Sorry
about being rude about her face, I was just being silly, she didn't
hear! You are back with me live and
getting wet here in rainy Kenya in the rain aye season in the Masai
Mara. I wanted to talk to you about some of the kit because we've
brought some clever stuff, including thermal imaging cameras.
This is a new generation of them. We've got one over there being
manned by Sue right now. We can show you some of the images we have
got from earlier on. Oh, this is us, lack, that's me with my torch and
that's, I don't know who they are! That's the crew, bless them, yeah,
all right. We've all been on telly, that's nice. Actually, it's not
just for that, much as we enjoy it, it's very useful. We have had some
great shots already. This is a buff foe that we saw. This was today, I
believe, as we were live. This is a rogue male buffalo just now --
buffalo. They are one of the most dangerous things you will find in
after ach. Usually they are old males that are dominant males --
find in Africa. We can use to it spot dangers out there. Sue, can
you pan left to we can have a look and see if there's anything out
there presenting a danger to us? We are in no danger at all. Panning
out there to the left. That's a guard. That's my car and a fire. I
think we are all right. Look, there they are! There's the buffalos
right now. That's... Don't worryer we'll be OK. If anything nasty
happens, I'll throw Pat, the cameraman in front of them. It does
illustrate the point, because there are times of year when you will pan
that camera across this wilderness at this time and it will just be
alive with so much life here on the Masai Mara. Right now there isn't.
If you are a single lioness such as Moja's mum, things like elephants,
buffalo, hippo, they really are going to be too tricky. It's a very
difficult time to be a lion on the Masai Mara right now.
Here is Moja. He's an only child of a single mother and they are casts
from their pride. Moja was finally getting some solid food but hyenas
were threatening to steal the first food he'd eaten with a week. His
mum was left with an agonising decision, either fight and allow
Moja to have a good meal or should she decide to play it safe, abandon
the kill. It's agony. The kind of decision we are going to be
watching over the next few weeks and the crews were up very early to
go out and see what had happened. This is what they found.
First impressions didn't look good, just as they were entering Moja and
her mum's territory, they found a den and warthog bones stripped bare.
There's nothing much beft for Moja there. The thing is, Moja really
needed to eat if he was going to get what he needed right now. No
idea if he got anything like enough. I saddled up and went to see for
myself and took along with me possibly the very pest person to be
Jackson Looseyia has lived alongside the lions for his entire
Let's get up. We were both very relieved to see
our struggling cub alive and well. Luckily for Moja, his mum made the
right decision giving up her kill to protect him.
She's going to need to hunt again soon to provide her with the meat
he's missing out on. But here, this is easier said than done.
This state is basically bare. territory now, there are pockets
that are just survivable through these tough times, this month, this
specific time when there's a few bits of things left, apart from...
This! It's abundant. It's no-man's-land.
It's both the safest place for her to be and the worst place because,
well... True. Absolutely true. It really is just unimaginibly
tough. Jackson's join med here in the tent, I suspect not just to
shelter from the rain. You don't mess about with your rainy season
here, do you, that is some rain going on. Their situation is
terrible isn't it? Exactly. It's bucketing, as you can see how much
water is coming out of this tent. Really, Moja and his mother are
cold out there. It's horribly difficult. I want to get some
geography on this. I have a map over here. It's not a geography
lesson, it's interesting. This is Moja, the patch of land here, no-
man's-land because there's no prey that stays there during the rainy
season. These are the other prides, each of these dominating this
territory, the pride is handed down to the female lion. That's theirs.
If Moja and his mum were to stray into these areas, they would not
get a warm welcome? Indeed, they are in great danger, if you think
about how much is surrounding them. Moja is in great danger if he meets
some of the big pride. It will be bad. Our crews are going out daily,
hourly, to keep on eye on what is happening. We'll update you for any
encounters. We are not just following lions, another of Kenya's
iconic animals, elephants, for whom this year means something very
different, they are having a great time. It's led to a babyboom in
fact. One to have crews has taken off 200 miles north to Samburu to
have a look. Grace and Sky are two of Kenya's newest elephant arrivals.
Their home, Samburu National Reserve, has been transformed by
life-giving rain. Food and water are plentiful.
Elephants are pouring into the park to make the most of this bonanza.
Grace and Sky's mums are relaxed and catching up with old friends.
Grace and Sky may be having the time of their lives, but there are
It is just dazzling watching those guys in the field, I could watch
them all day, running about learning to be an elephant. I think
I'd be better than being an elephant than they are right now
because they have a long way to go. In this easier time, fun times for
the elephants, there are dangers facing them.
Lions. I guess this is the other side of the lion's story, just like
in the Masai Mara, they are hungry and if they are lucky enough to
live in a pride, they can take an elephant calf. Grace and Sky are
part of a big family with sisters, cousins, aunts and grandmothers
watching over them through this most vulnerable period in their
young lives. That protection is everything to an
elephant. That's how they work. Their experience is passed down
from generation to generation. It's a different experience for another
bunch of elephants who are a very small herd, one in particular Emily
is a young, inexperienced mother without access to that information
and that experience and help. They are in fact without a leader as
well right now which means the whole herd is pretty much in total
disarray. Emily's calf is just three days old.
Just like a human baby, he relies entirely on his mother. He needs to
stop often to rest and suckle. But his family have to keep moving
to feed. It's nearly 40 degrees in the sun.
He's at serious risk of dehydration. Sun stroke is another killer. He
needs shade badly. But Emily is a first time mum and
has no-one to guide her through the first few confusing days of
motherhood. Emily's doing her best. But her
best migt not be enough to keep her calf alive -- might not be enough
to keep her calf alive. Just a reminder, these are real
life dramas happening in the world right now. We'll bring you more on
that and many, many more. We can now cross to Julia once more in
North America. Thank you. Let's hope Emily and her
calf have luck on their side. Planet Earth Live is of course a
global programme. I meat a grey whale calf who's about to set off
on a perilous 5,000 mile journey. I have my first face-to-face
encounter with a black bear. And Richard joins the fight against
elephant poaching in Samburu. One, two, three...
Welcome back to bear country. This really is the ultimate bear habitat.
We are surrounded by these Prenn did white and red pine trees. This
is a red pine, not the black bear's favourite climbing tree because
look how easily the bark comes off. Mama bears don't generally teach
cubs to climb on the red pine. So Jewel is a bear that might well
make that mistake. She's a first time mum. Inadvertently, she's
putting her cubs Herbie and Fern in mortal danger, she just doesn't
know how to react with certain situations, snow being one of those
situations. Jewel had her cubs up a tree and they were visibly cold and
shivering while she stayed down on The cubs don't have the benefit of
a thick winter coat like their mother. Their tiny size left them
extremely vulnerable in the biting Jewel eventually returned to the
base of the tree and calls her cubs Once on the ground, we expected to
see Jewel comfort and warm her cubs up. But instead, she moved off
again, leaving them struggling to keep up as they battled through the
As darkness fell, the crew had to leave, as the temperatures dropped
to minus ten. And there was a real sense that
remight not see the cubs alive again. -- that we might not see the
cubs alive again. Heart-breaking images. We all genuinely thought
that Herbie and Fern would not make it through the night. Remember,
they're just three months old. Their fur hasn't developed properly
yet, it's still fluffy and not very insulating and they're meant to be
in the warmth, safety and comfort of their dens. So imagine the
crew's amazement and joy when the following morning this is what they
saw. Despite the bitingly cold
temperatures of the previous night, Jewel had somehow managed to work
out that she needed to keep Herbie and Fern warm if they were to
survive. It turned out that Jewel had
wandered off to find a good place to shelter her cubs. She'd led them
to safety and was now keeping them warm with her body heat.
Thankfully, the cubs seemed happy and content once more and are
I don't know about you, I could just watch those kinds of scenes
all day. How lucky that I'm here 230 three weeks -- three weeks.
That was Herbie and Fern. Let's see how they are this week. They are
doing a bit of climbing practice. Mum, Jewel, is watching on.
Lackadaisical in her approach there. Paying a bit of attention now, or
is she just having a bit of a nap? Never really sure with Jewel. She's
learning as we are. The nice thing about Herbie and Fern is that, as
brother and sister, they get on very well. Looking forward to
getting to know those two a little better as the weeks go on. We are
watching young animals across the globe on Planet Earth, including
grey whale calfs in Mexico. The grey whale calves have begun their
massive migration from the warm water nursery lagoons of Mexico up
the coast towards Arctic waters. Along the way, they're going to
battle hunger, fatigue, all sorts of other things, including these,
killer whales. Cameer whales intent on separating
mothers from their calves. I went to Mexico about three weeks
ago hoping to see a grey whale calf before she set off on this epic
I've seen whales in the wild before, but I've never been close enough to
touch one. And the prospect is so exciting. I'm shaking a little bit.
There we go. Hello! There are an estimated 500 grey whale mums here,
each with a newborn calf in what is effectively a giant nursery.
Holy moley, this is bizarre. Look. We've got whale soup in front of us
unfolding. Flippers and heads, dorsal ridges just twisting in the
A little bit fishy. Nothing too bad. I'm prepared to live with that. The
experience of a lifetime. Thank you. That's a definite hello!
Lovely to meet you too. How incredible to touch. Soft, soft
skin and covered in scratches and whale lice and barnacles.
Hello, beautiful. Nice barnacles. This baby is only about four weeks
old, but she's incredibly friendly and her mum is actually lifting her
so that she can get a betterlike at me. We are eye ball to eye ball.
Hello, beautiful, beautiful creature. Hello. -- better look at
me. I can't think of another instance in the wild where an adult
mother would encourage her young to go towards humans. It just wouldn't
happen. You wouldn't find it with bears. And so strange and wonderful.
Now, it's just showing off. We've made true friends here. It's an
overwhelming feeling. They're communicating with one another,
they are communicating with us. And when you look in the eye of a grey
whale, it's so soulful and peaceful. It's just absolutely incredible.
There is something so special about these sea giants, I don't think
I'll ever surpass that moment when I looked a grey whale calf and her
mother in the eye. We'll follow their journey, the 5,000 mile
migration. Come over to my map. This is the route. This is Mexico
where I went to have my encounter with a grey whale calf and this is
their entire journey. This is the Bering Sea, the Arctic waters. If
they make it there and back, that's 10,000 miles. These mammals are
incredible, it's the biggest mammal migration in the world. 10,000
miles in one year. They estimate that in a grey while's lifetime of
50 years, they might make up to 500,000 miles, that's around the
world 20 times. We've got spotters all along this route. This is
Monterey Bay in California and we've got a team there who sent
through news to me only yesterday, not just news, I've got pictures
for you from yesterday, of killer whales. So the killer whales are
moving in on that area. These are the pictures fresh in from
yesterday. Look at that. You can even see the coast Ryan in the
background. Very exciting. Of course, we'll be waiting with
baited breath to see what happens. They move in pods of about seven or
eight. Their intention is to separate the mothers from the
calves. We've also got spotters in Kenya. I
understand that they've spotted a Hammond. That's right, it's a
Hammond. They have, they have! Half a
million miles for the grey whales, that is staggering. The killer
whales send a chill down your spine, they are so single-purposed. I
would also like to say, I was where Julia was not that long ago filming,
ideally grey whiles that,'s whey went to see, not one, none. I think
Bradbury it was the anorak what they came to see. Welcome back to
Kenya. Julia's having her lunch right now, Gavin's tucked up in bed
and I'm here in the Masai Mara in the rainy season hoping I'm not
about to be charged by a rogue bull buffalo. Good. Back to the action
here. Elephants, 200 miles to the north in Samburu. Last time we saw
Emily and her calf, the calf was weak and exposed, kept getting left
out in the baking heat because he's inexperienced and was struggling to
keep up with his young mum. This herd is tiny, only a few young
inexperienced around. There are no elders to guide her. That is what
she needs. That's how they learn all the time, elephant to elephant.
I have to tell you, the situation got a lot worse.
Monitoring all the elephants in Samburu is David and his team from
Save the Elephants. For him, every baby holds hope for
the species and right now, he's very worried about Emily's calf.
We are looking for a young baby and we found the rest of the group but
no sign of the baby. So I'm a Emily's with the herd, but she's
alone and her calf is nowhere to be seen. David knows just how many
threats there are to baby elephants in small, vulnerable herds like
Emily's. I suspect it could have been lions. We have two massive
males in this pack who're very specialised in killing young baby
elephants. We have seen their tracks around this area.
The team find a group of very full lay-ons in the salt scrub where
It's part of nature for elephants to lose a baby. But, this will be
quite emotional for poor Emily to lose her first calf which was only
a few days old. Elephants have very complex emotions. They respond to
death just like us. For Emily, she'll be mourning for the calf she
just lost. Just a mile or so away, Grace and Sky are oblivious of the
dangers around them. They're protected by a barricade of trunks
and legs. Older family members constantly
touch and reassure the babies, keeping them from trouble and
helping them along. And they have a herd leader who's
prepared to fight to the death for It was difficult. To be fair, we
knew this kind of thing could, probably would happen.
The lions are struggling too so I guess you could say on which side
you view it from. Grace and Sky are safe in their extended family. Life
is good on the whole for them but there is a danger facing them and
I'm sorry, ashamed to have to tell you, that that danger comes from us.
In the last three years, one in four elephants in Samburu was
killed. Most of them at the hand of poachers, the illegal Ivory trade
being at its worst for many years. But there is hope. David and his
team are on the frontline of this fight.
It really makes me very sad. What is wrong with people, you know, why
are we doing this to wild animals who have no problem with us? It's a
big day for David. Grace and Sky's family are known to wander outside
the safety of the park where poachers lie in wait. I'm joining
him and his team as they take desperate measures to try to
protect them. The plan is to put a radio tracking
device on Sky and Grace's herd leader, but to do that, she has to
be sedated. I can feel the tension. Yes, everyone will be trying to
protect this lion. Lions could pop out of the bush. This is a tense
moment for all of us. Wow. That's... Suddenly around that
corner and there they are. That's it. It's a race against time.
She could go down at any moment and we have to be there to make sure
Four minutes now. She can't be far. No, she's down. Down, yes. OK,
This is about making noise to get the herd away from this elephant.
The moment the other females see a female down, all they want to do is
protect her. We are attacking her, as far as they are concerned.
We find her in one of the worst possible positions. Her legs
slipped in the mud and she's on her front crushing her lungs. She could
easily suffocate. We've got to move fast. The vet immediately checks
that she's OK. She's fine. She's I'm given a vital job, keeping her
The whole purpose of these big ears of course is to cool. That's what
they're for. Very thin skin which means the vains radiate heat out
because they are close to the surface. The veins. The skin feels
rough and hard, as you would expect, and hot. You get the impression the
heat doesn't all come from the sun, some of it's from her. One, two,
three. Again. OK, lift. Well done. A good position. If you could help
me here. With the radio collar securely attached, it's time to
bring her round. We have three minutes and we'll see movement. The
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 47 seconds
It was stressful, I know. These guys make that calculated judgment,
the stress of that experience is more than offset by the value of
having that transmitted collar on her. She'll range way beyond
Samburu Park. The moment she does, she's in mortal danger and I think
having that information, that database, is probably the most
valuable tool in protecting her, her family, her offspring, her
future. Do you feel relieved? Very Much Indeed. So Relieved.
Because I Wasn't Sure What Is Going To Happen. She's a bit groggy but
unharm and she heads off to rejoin her family. This tracking device
will enable David to watch over Grace and Sky and the rest of the
herd to try to protect them from poachers.
I'm going to say it again, David and his team hate sedating
elephants but fitting the collars are the best chance they stand of
surviving against the poachers. I don't know about you, but I'm
probably not alone in thinking that Ivory poaching was like one of
those Victorian diseases that had gone away completely but it turns
out it hasn't, it's actually as prevalent as it was before. The
good news from Samburu is they are all up and well and fine and I'll
be flying up north tomorrow to have a look at that myself. I'll bring
you that on Wednesday. Julia, I have to tell you, that was one of
THE most stressful things I've ever done in my life, I'm not
exaggerating. I'm certain that it was, Richard. The thing is, we are
in such a privileged position at the moment, aren't we, to have this
proximity to wild animals, to get so close. We are hear in bear
country, the country is literally branded with bears, there are bear
mugs and T-shirts and all sors, yet if you came here as a tourist, you
are very unlikely to have an encounter with a bear. I'm learning
so much about the animals in such close quarters.
It's astonishing. Being close to the elephant, helping keep her ear
cool and seeing how it works as a radiator. It was astonishing. I'll
check up and find out more later in the week.
Can't wait for that. We are in this privileged situation in Minnesota
because we have access to the black bears at an extraordinary level.
That's all thanks to one man Dr Rogers, he's a biologist. He had a
PhD in bears. Around here, he's actually just known as the Bearman.
He really is quite extraordinary and he took me for my first nose-
to-nose encounter. Trust me, you knead a big animal to match this
nose, trust me, he took me for my first nose to have nose encounter
with Juliet and we checked up on her three cubs as well.
I'm sorry, bear, I rushed up upon you. You might be a little bit
brave to get in here. Never get between a mother and a cubs. But it
takes more than a mother black bear to scare her. Or maybe it takes
more to scare you because you have been doing this for 45 years.
They're up there for sure, yes? for sure. It's interesting. Sorry,
bear, what do you want? To you wonder what we are here for? I
think this is the only place we can come in the world and see a mother
with cubs like this and trust us. wild bear, remember this is a wild
bear? Yes. Hello Mrs Bear. Nothing Where are those cubs? They must be
pretty high? I hope they come down. With the cubs nowhere to be seen,
we took our cue from mum and sat down to wait. After 45 minutes, we
heard scratchings in the tree above Juliet and the first of her cubs
made they are way down to join mum. Here we go. Here we go. I've never
So vulnerable. I can't believe I'm actually sitting here just a few
feet away from this adorable, He's feeding.
Someone else to join the party. Is he the right size for his age, or
should he be bigger? He's doing OK. Starting to nurse. That's the sound
of nursing? Yes, that's the sound They do look like little humans
when they stand on their hind legs? Yes. It's actually like watching a
That really was an emotional experience for me. Perhaps it's
because I'm a first time mum but the bears seem so toddler and
human-like to me. You will have also seen in the film the moment
Ben Juliet moved towards us quite quickly. That's called a bluster,
that was my first bluster experience. Although it looks like
she was being aggressive, that's the bear's way of expressing her
nervousness, not quite sure what's going on, so just makes a little
warning noise, all the air coming out of her nose and she's making
sure that you stand well back which of course I did. I was very pleased
that Dr Lynn was in front of me. Hammond, if you were here, I'd put
you in front of me as well, a sort of a double layer.
Julia, I don't know how many times I could have been told that the
bluster wasn't a real attack, I still would have decided to be
somewhere else at that moment. I've come back out into the rain, that's
the driving force out of all our stories here. This has come down
many the course of this show. It really does fall very, very quickly.
But it is beautiful here in the Mara. We have some pictures to show
you. Glorious. Even though it's raining torrentially, this rain
makes it, not only hard for the lions, but for the camera crews and
wildlife spotters who've been out looking for them as well. To be
honest, we have been stuck in the rain, battling through rain. There
have been some adventurous missions and we'll be doing more before the
end of the smo Show in three weeks' time. This is my car. We have
already had rain up to there. If it continues falling for the rest of
the evening, tnts will be getting washed away. We'll still be here on
Wednesday though. -- tents. There's a buffalo over there. Can we have a
look? Two buffalo. Right now live in Kenya you are looking at them.
They don't mind the rain. We'll just stay quiet for now.
No buffalo in Minnesota, just bears all around us. We have got four
camera crew here in North America filming pretty much around-the-
clock across the continent. We know that there was a black bear
standing just about there, 200 yards aWay, some of our black bears
have GPS collars on them which send a signal back to us every hour so
we can get precise locations. A lot of people saying I was too
emotional about the cubs there. Just look at this. Look at the cub.
There we go. Standing on its hind leg. I've got a little boy who's
nine months old, he's not that coordinated but does look a bit
like that. I'm sure you agree with me. So we know there was a bear a
couple of hundred yards away there. We also know that these are in the
area. Listen to this. They are timber wolves. Top predator in the
woods. We have heard them here. So imagine wolves stumbling across
lost black bear cub. That is a situation that you don't want but
an inexperienced mum could inadvertently put her black bear
cub in that situation. On Wednesday, we'll be following the top
predators. We have a camera trap. This is Max, one of the most
experienced cameramen setting up a camera trap there. We hope to catch
any motions of any wolves and anything else here in the
Northwoods of Minnesota. On Wednesday, we'll update you with
everything and of course more beautiful black bear cubs.
More news just in from Kenya, as well as the buffalo which I can now
hear, we have heard from the spotters that Moja has been found,
he's OK, looking thin but hanging on in there. We have, I think you
will agree, brought you some incredible stories already, but
there are so many many more baub animals' lives we'll be following
during this critical month -- baby animals' lives we'll be following
during this critical month. We'll meet Mickey and Luka getting their
first view of the outside world. Otter cubs live life on the run
from some caiman. Our teams are stationed around the world getting
as close as possible to the action. And that is pretty much it. We
shall of course be bringing you more news on Moja. We'll update you
on the whales and have more antics from Julia's bear cubs. Join us at
Richard Hammond and Julia Bradbury are the hosts of this live global wildlife event. For three weeks they will follow the real life and death struggles of baby animals from around the world. It is a critical moment in these young animals' lives, as they try to survive the most challenging month of the year.
From Kenya, Richard reports on dramatic stories of lions and elephants. From North America, Julia reports on bears, whales and otters. There will also be reports from around the world, as they follow intimate, real-time stories of meerkats, monkeys and other animals.