Maternal instinct is one of nature's strongest, it ensures that mothers bond with, care for and protect their babies. Without it, the world's breeding programmes for threatened species would face a very different future. In this captivating series, we discover how these breeding programmes are helping nature to ensure that endangered species are kept alive
EP01 - Maternal Instinct
The maternal instinct is one of Nature's strongest - it makes sure mothers bond with, care for and protect their babies. Without it, the world's breeding programmes for threatened species would face a very different future.In this programme we see how a female rhino's natural caution protects her baby and spend time with a baby kangaroo who was rejected by his mother so she could carry on breeding. A mother Amur leopard gets angry when her cubs are taken away for their vaccinations, and we meet two orangutan mums whose maternal instincts help them bring their babies up in just the right way.
EP02 - Human Intervention
No matter how skilled an animal mother is, sometimes things go wrong. That's when dedicated keepers and carers must step in to save the lives of mothers and babies.This programme travels to Australia to see the huge efforts needed to save flying fox mums and babies from a deadly paralysis, and watches as a vet carefully removes a baby zebra's umbilical cord. We reveal how keepers successfully changed the way they keep Rothschild's giraffes, but still have to step in to bottle-feed a youngster. We share people's sadness at an elephant stillbirth and elation when another healthy elephant calf is born.
EP03 - Saving Species
Captive breeding and rehabilitation programmes are a vital part of the struggle to save threatened species around the world. If they don't succeed, many endangered creatures could simply disappear.This programme features the long-awaited birth of a baby Giant panda, and follows her through the first months of her life. An abandoned baby manatee is encouraged to feed by a much older male, then she must be left behind when he is released back into the wild. We spend time with three big cat cubs who sadly can never be released, but will play a big part in educating people about their species. We witness the caesarian birth of a baby Gelada baboon, and show how he flourishes, despite being abused by his mother.
EP04 - Diverting the Course of Nature
On Baby Planet, the best care in the world won't stop nature taking its course - whatever the outcome. However even the darkest cloud can have a silver lining.In this programme keepers struggle to save sixteen hunting dog puppies after their mother dies; sadly only six make it, but they have a bright future as part of a new pack. We go home with a rejected Barbary lion cub where she finds a new canine companion, and see how a baby White-cheeked gibbon keeps staff guessing about its gender. In South Africa abandoned Wattled crane eggs are put in an incubator - very few hatch out, but the efforts to save this threatened species must go on.
EP05 - On Nature's Maternity Ward
Sometimes animal mothers manage just fine, but at other times they need a lot of help from the keepers and vets who run the world's wildlife maternity wards.In this programme Amanda the Lowland gorilla surprises everyone by becoming pregnant at a late age. The birth goes well, but soon afterwards Amanda's in pain and her baby develops a worrying lump on its back. We watch an aardvark cause chaos during her pre-natal exam, and spend time with a Malayan tapir who keeps everyone guessing about her due date. We see how two Striped hyena cubs are hand-reared after their mother rejects them, then travel to the USA, where it's third time lucky when a nervous warthog mum finally overcomes her terror of piglets.
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