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The Secret Life of Elephants

Premier :: 2009-01-14

on BBC

Genre :: Documentary

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First in a series of three programmes revealing the emotional and dramatic lives of elephants in Kenya's Samburu reserve. As the day begins, there is great excitement in one elephant family when a new baby, named Breeze, is born. But her first few weeks look set to be the most dangerous of her life. Meanwhile, elephant experts Iain and Saba Douglas-Hamilton face the huge challenge of fitting a radio collar to a three-tonne female elephant with an entire herd looking out for her. Breeze faces her first big test, crossing a river, and the research team investigate when one of their best-known bull elephants is found dead in suspicious circumstances. Back in the reserve, a young calf becomes injured and cannot keep up with his herd. His mother sticks with him, but will he survive without the support of a family? There is further tragedy when a matriarch dies. In unique footage, a herd of elephants visit her body, and appear to mourn her death.

Latest Episode

Series 1 - Episode 3 - I Feel Sick
Aired - 28 January 2009

Episode summary:

Last in the series of three programmes featuring the emotional and dramatic lives of elephants in Kenya's Samburu reserve. After the drought, the rains have arrived, but has baby elephant Breeze survived? As hundreds of elephants descend on the reserve for the breeding season, the research team hit their busiest time of year. With the help of new technology, Saba Douglas-Hamilton tracks down the biggest land animals on earth: the mighty bull elephants. But even Saba is keeping her distance when Rommel, a dangerous bull who once flattened a car and tried to kill two of the team's researchers, arrives on the scene. Outside the reserve, there is a shocking development when Onesmas Kahindi investigates two mysterious deaths; could poachers be targeting the local elephants? And when field researcher David Daballen finds a baby elephant in desperate trouble, he and the team must mount a life or death operation to save her.

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