Episode 37 Season 6: 2 August 2015
Marion Island: To the ends of the earth
Marion Island: stranded approximately halfway between South Africa and Antarctica, and one of two Prince Edward Islands in the southern Indian Ocean. With a mean annual temperature of 4 degrees and constant strong winds, these islands are inhospitable and only a few are adapted to survive here. Groups of dedicated scientists from the University of Pretoria brave the stormy seas aboard The SA Aghulhas ll to reach these isolated volcanic protrusions of rock. Once there, it will be their home for 13 months. Their mission: The Marion Island Marine Mammal Programme – the longest running marine mammal research initiative in the world – which studies (amongst others) the 2 seal species found on the island, as well as the groups of majestic Killer whales that hunt in these frigid waters. The data collected here is invaluable not only to the marine researchers, but the changes occurring here in this isolated part of the ocean acts as a global early warning system for the climate change that we can no longer ignore. Although these tiny dots on the map seem worlds away from civilization, there is a raw beauty here that is found no-where else on earth. Join us for a breath-taking look at the wonders of this forgotten world.
Eco-chinos: Fashion with a difference
Even the most environmentally responsible people need to get up in the morning and put on clothes. But what most of us don’t realise, is that even the shirts we wear on our backs have a massive environmental impact. This is an age where people are becoming more and more aware of what we eat, drive, and where we go on holiday, and now it seems this awareness has spread to the fashion world. In most cases, the process of making clothes uses huge amounts of electricity, potentially harmful dyes and many other damaging chemicals that end up in the surrounding water systems. But on the island of Madagascar, all of this is changing. A clothing manufacturer has taken a stand on the way clothes are made, and is using environmentally sustainable methods to produce a new line of eco-friendly clothes.
Rhino brief: Zoos
One of the most noticeable changes when visiting a game reserve in recent years has been the stringent security measures in place due to the rampant poaching crisis that has rocked South Africa’s national parks. Our cars are searched, sniffer dogs and armed guards are posted throughout the reserves and security cameras constantly record all movements in and out of access points. But are we forgetting something? What about those rhinos beyond our borders, those that have been shipped to zoos around the world. The animals, chosen by us to spread the word of conservation and education in other parts of the world. What protection are they being given? These animals, already denied their freedom in the name of education are sitting in enclosures without the ability to hide or flee. They are habituated to human presence and are veritable sitting ducks for potential poachers. In this week’s rhino brief, Bonne asks the important question: are they being given the appropriate protection that they deserve, or have they been forgotten in this war while all available resources are directed elsewhere?
We’re super-sizing our meal options tonight on veld Focus: a crocodile and an elephant do a practical demonstration of ‘how the elephant got its trunk’, a lion takes a chance with a hippo and a leopard gets a lesson in self-defence from a potential meal.