Animals

INDEPENDENT LENS
Rodents of Unusual Size

INDEPENDENT LENS: Rodents of Unusual Size

 

Louisiana residents south of New Orleans have faced many an environmental threat, from oil spills to devastating hurricanes. But a growing menace now lurks in the bayous and backwaters: hordes of monstrous 20-pound swamp rats known as nutria. The voracious appetite of this invasive species from South America is accelerating erosion of the state’s coastal wetlands, already one of the largest disappearing landmasses in the world. But the people who have lived there for generations are not the type of folks to give up without a fight.

 

The film features a feisty mix of rejuvenated trappers, adventurous chefs, bold fashionistas, exotic pet enthusiasts, and more. This joyful take on an ecological menace reveals in equal parts our impact on the environment and the local’s surprising solutions to save their land before it dissolves beneath their feet. It is human 2r22vs. rodent — may the best mammal win.

 

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ANIMAL BABIES: FIRST YEAR ON EARTH
New Frontiers

 

Join the baby animals as they near the end of their first year of life. It’s time for these young ones to branch off from the comfort of their mothers and learn to explore the great unknown on their own.

 

 

 

ANIMAL BABIES: FIRST YEAR ON EARTH
First Steps

 

See how the babies learn to understand their surroundings in environments ranging from Africa to Sri Lanka to Iceland. The most basic tools for survival must be learned in their first three months to thrive and ultimately survive.

 

 

 

The Wild Ponies of Chincoteague

The Wild Ponies of Chincoteague

 

THE WILD PONIES OF CHINCOTEAGUE follows the annual Chincoteague wild pony swim and auction, as well as one teenager’s journey to buy her first foal. The one-hour documentary begins with a legend. In the 17th century, a Spanish galleon crashed off the Virginia coast. In the hold was a band of ponies. The sinking ship fractured on the shoals, spilling the ponies into the Atlantic Ocean. The ponies swam for their lives and reached the barrier island of Assateague. Their descendants roam free on the island today. Ownership of the herd now belongs to the volunteer fire company on nearby Chincoteague Island. To keep the population in check, the firemen hold an annual auction and sell the foals. Buyers come from across the country and Canada for a chance to bid on a Chincoteague pony. Sabrina Dobbins, a teenager who has struggled with depression, is attending the auction this year to find a pony to help with her recovery. Her dream of owning one of the wild Chincoteague ponies is being realized by a local nonprofit that helps deserving children purchase an auction foal. With her hand held high, the auctioneer barks “Sold!” and, just like that, Sabrina happily becomes the proud owner of Blessing the pony.

 

 

 

NOVA
First Horse Warriors

NOVA: First Horse Warriors

 

Horse riding played a key role in human expansion and civilization. But when and how did people first master these animals? Scientists use archaeology and genetics to uncover clues about the first horse riders and how they shaped the world.

 

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NATURE
American Spring Live: Birth and Rebirth

NATURE: American Spring Live - A Pike or short-eared bunny

 

NATURE, television’s longest-running weekly natural history series, has won more than 200 honors from the television industry, parent groups, the international wildlife film community and environmental organizations, including the only award ever given to a television program by the Sierra Club.

 

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Birth and Rebirth
Tracing the green wave that sweeps across the continent in spring, see how the rising temperatures and longer days spur plants to awaken and flower, and animals to seek out newly abundant resources for their new families. See bears emerge from hibernation in Maryland and witness the connection that nesting birds have with alligators in the Everglades. Go nest hunting in Arizona and learn how the California wildlands are being reborn after a year of devastating wildfires. Discover how animals have incorporated seasonal change into their life cycles and successful reproductive strategies – all demonstrated by the birth of a lamb in Maine.

 

 

 

NATURE
American Spring Live: Migration

NATURE: American Spring Live

 

NATURE, television’s longest-running weekly natural history series, has won more than 200 honors from the television industry, parent groups, the international wildlife film community and environmental organizations, including the only award ever given to a television program by the Sierra Club.

 

Preview

 

Migration
Breeding and the greening of the landscape are tied to another major spectacle of spring: the mass movements of animals as they take advantage of spring’s bounty. Meet the scientists who track the journeys of animals such as butterflies, birds, bison and bats over vast distances, from winter refuge to spring nesting grounds. As they attempt to uncover the precise triggers and timing of migration and its impact on other animal species, the scientists grapple with how these patterns and behaviors may shift due to climate change.

 

 

 

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