Episode 27 Season 6: 24 May 2015
In the animal kingdom survival is reserved for the fittest. There is no space for weakness, and second chances are rarely given. A sable with 3 legs for example would not ‘have a leg to stand on’ so to speak. But at the Shamwari Rehabilitation Centre, that is exactly what is about to happen. The team has cleverly fashioned a prosthetic leg for this majestic creature, which unfortunately lost her leg as a very young calf. We venture down to the Eastern Cape where the luckiest sable in the country receives a leg up in life.
Urban Critters: Under da sea
When we think of harbours, we usually think of smelly places covered in shiny oil-slicks where no self-respecting sea creature would dare venture without fear of being driven over by a cargo ship. However, there is in fact a whole other world under those murky waters where a variety of fishy critters go about their daily business. In this week’s Urban Critters, we head off to the Durban harbour to find out more.
Rhino brief: Under the knife
Hospitals are not generally fun places. But, we are usually safe in the knowledge that the trained professionals who hold our lives in their hands are supported by hi-tech equipment and machinery. For rhino, things are a little different. It is a well-known fact that rhino are regularly anesthetised for de-horning and monitoring procedures, but the fancy machines that we rely on to monitor our own vital signs are far too big to cart around in the field. So the dedicated vets and ecologists responsible for their lives have to do things a bit more old-school. In this week’s Rhino brief, Bonne get out her stethoscope and heads to the KNP to spend some time with the team who perform these incredible procedures – without the aid of cumbersome machinery.
Wildlife Wonder: Gentle giants
Anthropomorphising is something that most people can’t seem to get away from when it comes to animals. Attaching human emotions to creatures is part of our nature. With elephant it is that much easier, as they display so many emotions that we as humans can identify and relate to. They have strong family bonds, will play at the first sign of a messy mud wallow and appear to mourn their dead. In this instalment of Wildlife Wonders, we take a closer look at these behemoths, exploring their incredible personalities and gentle natures.
Hairy footed gerbils: Hairy feet, sandy noses
Along the coast of the Eastern Cape, there is a little creature called a Pygmy hairy-footed gerbil, which takes cute to a whole new level. It spends its nights hopping around the sand dunes, collecting seeds, which are stuffed in check pouches and carried back to its burrow under the sand. Unfortunately, it only occurs in a very small area, and part of its natural habitat has been earmarked for development. Luckily for the gerbil, there are plans afoot to relocate the entire population to a nearby stretch of lonely beach-front with perfect gerbil habitat ready and waiting. The only trick is catching them… Join us as we take a look at how the Centre for African Ecology Conservation went about this Lilliputian relocation operation. And no – cheese, mouse traps and flutes were not an option.
Tonight’s Veld Focus is a rare occasion, with some seldom seen behaviour from a variety of animals. We see a buzzard of the honey flavour turn up in an odd place, a tortoise is caught in the act of egg laying, and baboons are getting into all kinds of trouble.