x50|50 Episode 26 Season 8: 15 October 2017
Dogs in Conservation: Man’s oldest friend learns a few new tricks
Thousands of years ago, before the advent of agriculture, before literature or mathematics, early humans formed an unlikely partnership with the grey wolf. The fates of our two species became braided together. The wolves changed in body and temperament. They became less frightening and learned to read the complex expressions that ripple across human faces. They were the first domesticated animals, and their barks heralded the Anthropocene. We have covered numerous stories on the incredible human/dog relationships that have developed in anti-poaching teams in South Africa – from Ngwenya, the first dog in the Kruger National Park, to ‘Killer’, who not long ago shook paws with Prince William. However, tracking down criminals is just one of the many talents our 4 legged friends have. Ashmund brings us the full ‘tail’!
Spervuur: Cape Mountain Zebra
A rather special group of zebra dazzle us with a conservation success story. But these mountain loving equids are not out of the woods yet. We head to the craggy floral kingdom of the Cape to find out how South Africa’s rarest zebra species is trotting steadily back from a precarious position. But there are still complicated genetic hurdles to overcome.
Wonderwêreld: White tailed mongoose
In this week’s instalment of Wonderwêreld, we head to the deep valleys and forests of the Luangwa, home to a little creature that while it may resemble a dog, is actually more closely related to a cat. We join a small family of white-tailed mongoose, as they carry out their daily lives in the magnificent Zambian wilderness.
It’s a real circus in the VeldFokus studio, with some extremely strange animals on display! Mole rats and shrews take the limelight, while insects show that colour changing is just one of their amazing tricks!