Africa's Super Seven (2005) Movie Script

In Africa anything can happen
in just one day...
especially when seven of its greatest
wild animals encounter each other.
These are seven magnificent
characters who surpass all others ...
seven animals who rule the African bush.
Over 24 hours, from day to night,
the action never stops.
The Cheetah is the champion sprinter
able to take down the fastest prey.
But can she teach her cubs
how to hunt for themselves today?
Or will the Hyena steal their prey.
She's a clever
opportunist, with cubs too...
...and will do whatever
it takes to keep them alive.
The Lion is notjust the biggest of
Africa's cats; it's also a team player.
And tonight the gang is on the hunt.
The Buffalo will have to be on guard.
But this quiet herbivore has a mean
temper and travels in a large herd ...
a force to be reckoned with.
The Rhino also has formidable power.
But poor eyesight and
a nervous disposition
means she's the wildcard of the bunch.
But nothing is more dangerous
than a temperamental Elephant
especially a young bull with too
much energy and not enough sense.
And then, thereps the Leopard,
the Prince of Stealth.
He lives in the shadows and
is always ready to pounce.
Seven super animals.
One place.
One single day.
There's no better place to
followAfrica's Super Seven
than in South Africa's
Mala Mala game reserve
... a vast stretch of wilderness
teeming with wildlife.
And through it all runs
another superb feature
the Sand River, where our
24-hour story begins...
Itps mid-afternoon, three o' clock.
For wildlife this is the
real start of an African day.
Theypre emerging from
their shady retreats to
make the most of the remaining daylight.
Here, you must be prepared for anything.
No two days are ever the same ...
Two of the Super Seven
are already at the river.
Elephants are social animals.
The river is one of
their favourite spots.
And this cat is full of surprises.
The Lion is the most
formidable hunter here.
The habitat beside the river is
pristine South African bushveld -
ideal for the greatest ambush hunter
of them all- the Leopard.
He is the master of the treetops
but he will be coming
down soon, to hunt.
African Buffalo also like the bushveld.
This herd is a hundred strong.
And they're on the move to
the river for their daily drink.
These animals have strength in numbers.
The young, the old and the weak are all
protected by the stronger group members.
Here there is always someone
to watch your back.
That's vital for this young female.
Sheps heavily pregnant
with her first calf.
She could go into labour at any time.
This is a vulnerable moment-
predators will prey on her newborn.
This Hyena Mum is also raising a family.
Her growing cubs have a
never-ending hunger for milk.
At nine months theypre now quite big.
It will be another six months
before they're completely weaned.
To protect her young from predators
she wonpt bring meat back to the den.
lnstead she feeds herself regularly
to keep a fresh supply of milk flowing.
Today she must leave them, to go hunt.
And this, she must do on her own.
Unlike most hyena mumps she does
not have a clan to help her hunt
or protect her young when she's away.
This is a big day for
the cheetah mother.
Sheps about to give her
cubs a hunting lesson.
But first the young ones need
to charge their batteries.
Sprinting is thirsty work.
The young cheetahs have a whole
world to explore and need to learn
which animals are prey and
which are best left alone.
Back at the river the Rhino and her mate
have stumbled across something disturbing.
With their poor eyesight
they can't quite make it out.
But their excellent sense of
smell leaves no doubt what it is ...
a buffalo carcass, several days old.
The discovery has the rhinos spooked.
Predators donpt normally hunt rhino
- theypre too big.
But these nervous creatures would
still rather be somewhere else.
Unfortunately, they're now
headed straight for the elephants...
... where the mood is lighter.
Theypre the biggest of the Super Seven.
Elephants are normally the ones
who disturb other animals.
... Even babies can be a handful!
This herd has only one
real problem at the moment...
A young bull elephant
whops been acting up recently.
Heps now old enough to be on his own,
and the adult females
donpt want him here anymore.
Even though heps been pushed out,
he doesn't want to leave.
Heps used to the good life.
The young bull stays close to the herd,
but heps under strict
orders to keep his distance.
Right now he's very unpredictable -
something other animals
need to be aware of.
The rhino thinks she's
found a quiet feeding spot ...
but she's mistaken...
For a rhino with poor eyesight,
itps impossible to tell
whether the elephant is
angry, amorous orjust playful.
But no oneps waiting around to find out.
The day is still young for the lions.
They have no cares, no worries ...
content and confident that the
world is theirs for the taking.
Just one lion is a powerful hunter.
A whole pride however,
is a force to be reckoned with.
This is their turf and everyone knows it.
This afternoon all the females
are together.
The pride's two males
are off patrolling the area.
While one plays sentry his brother
lets everyone know who owns this territory.
Even big cats donpt like water.
But thereps only one
way back to his brother.
The Lionps roar is a simple but
effective way to announce himself.
He can be heard eight kilometers away.
The Leopard hears him... and no doubt
so do plenty of potential prey.
With sundown approaching
the leopard knows this is
the time to make his move.
He is perfectly at home in the trees.
No otherAfrican big cat
can climb like this.
The leopard has strong claws
and incredibly powerful legs
that can pull him through the branches.
Itps been three days since he last fed.
The late afternoon shadows
will be perfect cover.
The buffalo can't stay long in the water--
they don't want to
be caught here at night.
They must drink their fill and be gone.
For the pregnant cow the
water is a great relief,
helping her take off some weight.
For the rest, life is good ...
... with only a few minor irritations.
This lazy afternoon wallow
is a favorite buffalo pastime.
This would be paradise ...
... if it wasnpt for a few
unwanted neighbors.
The Leopard is headed their way.
And from the other direction
comes one of the lion brothers.
This isn't good.
Just one spooked buffalo can start a panic.
The pregnant cow must stay
with the herd at all costs.
Any sign of weakness could spark an attack.
Fortunately the Lion brother
is just passing through...
...but it's time for the
buffalo to be on their way
to the higher grassland where the
night time temperature will be warmer,
and it will be easier
to protect themselves.
They donpt need the chilling lion's roar
to remind them to move ...
The two brothers are in peak condition
but only rarely display
their awesome power.
They prefer to let the
femalesps eize the day'
and only show up when dinner's served.
Back at the pride, the lionesses
have a rude awakening.
The Bull Elephant has decided to
throw his weight in their direction.
Heps not showing signs of aggression yet
but he's uncomfortably close...
and obscured behind the bush,
the lions may not know till
itps too late if he charges.
Best to give him a wide berth...
and take the cubs too.
The lions aren't happy
about being moved on,
but every cloud has a silver lining ...
...theypve stumbled onto an early dinner...
Wildebeest ... who are blissfully
unaware of whatps approaching.
The leading lioness takes up her position.
The others follow suit.
She'll signal when to attack...
But she collides with one of her own!
It's a disaster.
But a lucky escape for the wildebeest.
Humiliated for the second time today,
the gang will be all the more
determined to kill tonight.
Not too far away, and not too
long into his daily patrol,
the leopard encounters
his skittish neighbor....
This is one to watch ...
sheps too big to attack,
and in fact could do
the leopard more damage.
And she's smack in the middle
of the leopardps path.
All too often a chance
meeting in the African bush
requires delicate
manoeuvres between animals.
But also all too often,
something else catches your eye...
... like a herd of impala.
Itps time for a detour...
Impala are plentiful in Mala Mala.
Theypre also first choice
on a Leopardps menu.
But the leopard has a problem
there's little cover
between him and the impalas.
If he tries to cross this open ground
he's sure to be spotted.
He'll have to bide his time...
follow slowly...
That's one thing about the leopard
he stalks his prey carefully ...
and waits for the
right moment to strike.
The mother cheetah is also patient.
She knows an opportunity
will pass by sooner or later.
She just needs to be vigilant.
Her two cubs still have to
learn this lesson.
If they want a meal
theypll need to work for it.
For now they're happy to
let Mom take care of dinner.
No sooner is she out of sight,
the cubs are presented with their
first big hunting opportunity
and there's no doubt
these zebra are big.
Much more than
even an adult cheetah could handle.
But they're still worth a chase...
Itps clear that
a few more lessons are necessary.
The leopard is keeping up with the impala,
and is still undetected.
More adept at ambush than the chase
he must get close to
stand any chance of a kill.
But someone's got there before him...
...the mother cheetah.
She hasn't yet spotted the leopard
she only has eyes for the impala.
She's off!
She's foiled by the tree cover.
The leopard's meal is even further away.
ltps now late afternoon. Five opclock.
Thereps a good reason
the lions failed in their
attack on the wildebeest.
They weren't working as a team.
They werenpt prepared.
Before they set out for tonight's hunt
they do something important
to reinforce their bonds ...
they socialise and groom one another.
ln this way six individual hunters
transform themselves into a single,
ruthless, killing machine.
The Buffalo are well on their way
to higher, safer ground.
The day is proving arduous
for the pregnant cow.
She's leaking birth fluids,
which signals labour is imminent.
This is dangerous...
...any predator can now pick up
the trail she leaves behind.
Worse still, she's falling behind.
Despite her distressed calls,
the herd moves on...
...the cow is only safe if she can keep up.
She can't give birth here.
She must press on.
Itps going to be a race against time.
The young bull elephant is
in no hurry, nor does he care
where hepll be when nightfall descends.
Just when the lions think they're free
of the elephant, heps back...
...strolling right
through the lionsp rest stop.
Elephants donpt like lions.
It's a very old law of nature.
But the bull is more intent on a sand bath
than taking on the Pride
at least for now.
As if to make his point,
he strolls right back
through the rest stop.
He knows thereps nothing they can do.
Mala Mala's higher ground is the
preferred habitat for the cheetah.
This is covered by open grassland
perfect for the worldps
fastest sprinter.
This is one of the mother
cheetahps favorite hunting spots.
It's also a safer place for
them to bed down for the night.
The cubs have yet to
make their first kill,
but they have each other
to practice their moves.
All this playing
doesnpt amuse their mother.
A quick nip puts them in order ...
if only for a moment.
With sundown approaching it's time
for the Hyena Mum to get moving.
Her cubs have drunk their fill.
She needs to restore her milk supply
with a good feed.
The cubs will stay behind.
They know the routine
- and besides,
after feeding so much today,
all they'll want to do is sleep.
The herd has reached the safety
of the grassland.
All but the pregnant cow.
She's still lagging behind and must
draw on all her reserves to catch up.
Itps half past six
a time of change in the bush.
The sun is now setting.
The cheetahs will continue
their hunting lessons tomorrow ...
The rhino won't settle down yet ...
And nor will the leopard ...
heps still following the impala...
And the hyena-
on the prowl for her next meal
has picked up his trail.
The lions are up and ready to go.
One last drink and
theypre off into the night,
a force of nature, hungry
and searching for prey.
The lion brothers arenpt with the pride,
but can still monitor their
movements by smelling their scent.
Lions have a specialized smelling organ
on the roof of their mouth.
One of the brothers
decides to follow the pride.
He is hungry
he'll let the females
do the dirty work though,
and turn up just in time to eat.
The lionesses donpt have to go far
before they pick up the
scent ofthe pregnant cow.
Now she has little time to reach the herd.
The lions are intent on their prize.
Not even a herd of impala can
tempt them away from their mission.
Up ahead the tired
but determined buffalo cow
finally reaches the
safety of her companions.
Now itps time for the next
exhausting challenge- to give birth.
Adult buffalo are big and strong
and have a mean temper.
The lions will have to get
past them to reach the cow
who is still some way behind them.
This is the cow's most vulnerable time.
The baby's on its way.
Fortunately buffalo mothers
are designed to give birth quickly.
Without hesitating her offspring
tries to get up onto his little legs.
He won't be gambling about
for at least a couple of hours.
This is his most vulnerable time.
The Elephant herd is not far away.
A chance encounter with the approaching
lions could cause a big uproar.
The herd is still moving
through the bush, feeding.
Theypll feed for 16 hours a day,
to fuel their massive bodies.
Only the bull elephant
has settled down for the night ...
He's fast asleep.
Now the lions have found the spot
where the buffalo calf was born,
and they have the young
baby in their sights.
This is a snatch and grab operation.
First send the buffalo into a panic,
then rush in and pick off the baby.
They close in.
And the buffalo scatter-
leaving the baby out front and vulnerable.
But the mother's instincts
won't let her leave her baby behind...
... and in just a few more moments
the herd rallies round.
The larger buffalo have
had enough of the lions ...
and now turn on the hunters.
The Buffaloes are too
strong to penetrate
without the help of one
of the Lion Brothers.
The lions have missed their opportunity.
The calf is safe.
Meanwhile the leopard is in
hot pursuit of the impala...
now that its night and
theypre in thicker bush,
he stands a good
chance of making a kill.
And the hyena is now tailing the leopard.
Sheps big and strong enough
to steal a kill from him
much easier than catching one herself.
All she has to do is wait.
The impala know something's up.
But they canpt see the danger.
When they finally do ...
It's too late.
The leopard tries to kill silently
but the impala's cries
echo through the night.
Just what the hyena's been listening for.
Leopards often take their kills up
into the trees, to avoid other predators.
But this cat is so hungry;
he starts his meal on the ground.
A mistake.
Not only has he angered the elephant
with all this commotion ...
... the Hyena is also onto him.
The leopard won't argue with a hyena.
All he can do is watch her steal his meal.
But the Hyenaps headed
for a nasty shock... with the elephant ...
... and she drops the prize.
The leopard acts quickly ...
... and regains his meal.
Heps not going to
waste this second chance...
Only leopards are strong enough
to carry a kill into the trees.
A Hyena may be fierce, but it canpt climb.
In no time the leopard is
onto his second course.
Thereps nothing the hyena can do
but hope for a few scraps from the table.
The leopard thinks heps safe-
and he should be
but now several tons of trouble
are bearing down on him.
The disturbed elephant is on the warpath... the delight of the hyena.
Now itps time for her
to do what hyenaps do best
and steal an opportunity!
Not quite a whole impala
but better than nothing.
The elephant has made his point ...
The leopard is left shaken
but still in possession of his meal.
The lions may have been
thwarted by the buffalo,
but they now have a new target to
round off their eveningps entertainment...
This is what makes the lion the most
fearsome ofAfricaps Super Seven ...
the pride working together to bring down
an animal much bigger than any single lion.
One cat secures the stranglehold
which will kill the wildebeest.
The others keep her pinned down.
This is a big kill.
The whole pride will feed tonight.
Right on cue the male lion shows up.
The lion pride doesnpt have
a strong hierarchy,
so with the wildebeest dead,
itps now every cat for itself.
Gone is the single minded
cooperation of the group hunt...
replaced by raw competition for a bite
By the end of the night
they will all have their fill.
There is only one predator
who has lost out tonight ... the hyena.
She is still hungry.
The Leopard has learned his lesson
and will keep his kill in the tree.
The hungry hyena is determined.
She needs to eat if
she is to feed her cubs.
This will be a long night.
Itps six am.
A new day for some animals.
Others have been active all night.
Some have been fortunate.
Others are still searching for a meal.
The lions are satisfied.
Their evening meal has gone down well.
The cool morning is
another good time to hunt,
but these cats arenpt going anywhere.
Not even the territorial male
can be bothered to begin his daily patrol.
Itps only been a few hours but already
the young buffalo calf is up and moving.
Heps past a big test
to survive the critical
first few hours of life
With food on tap, hepll
grow quickly into a fine bull
and take his own turn
at defending the herd.
His mother has done well
to get him to this point.
The cheetahs are up early,
and they're hungry.
They had no success hunting yesterday...
...but today is already looking better.
The cheetah studies her prey.
Which one is weak,
where is the best place to attack?
Which one looks the slowest?
But suddenly- trouble appears.
The Hyena Mum has picked up
the scent of the lion kill
and is desperate for a scrap.
The cheetahs have a natural
suspicion of other predators
and need to keep a watchful eye on her.
The hyena is happy to
steer clear of them .
Sheps focused on her next meal.
Her plan is to feed quickly
and then return to her cubs.
However she doesnpt yet know
the lions have left nothing for her.
Back at the den,
the hyena cubs are stirring.
And so hungry theypll try to eat
any scrap they can find.
Theypre used to their mother's absences
but with no other
hyenaps to protect them ,
they are vulnerable.
Not surprisingly, the cubs are eager
for their mother to return.
Up in his tree, the leopard is
enjoying his victory over the Hyena.
He can relax,
knowing that his kill is safe.
The only annoyance are his neighbors,
who don't take kindly to
a killer in their midst.
Perhaps it'll be quieter on the ground.
Butjust when he thought it was
safe to come out of the branches,
his old enemy turns up.
The Leopard does his best to put her off.
But it's no good.
The Hyena may have won this battle
but she hasnpt won the war.
The leopard still has his prize ...
and she is still hungry.
Shepll have to move on.
And leave him with the noisy neighbors...
This morning their growing hunger
should make the cheetah
cubps better students.
They follow their mother obediently ...
until one of them spots
something tantalizing ...
A large male Kudu.
The young cheetah thinks heps got
what it takes to bring down the Kudu.
His mother knows better.
But the youngster is determined.
The chase is on.
In just a few bounds
the kudu brushes him off.
A humiliating defeat ...
...but perhaps now the young cheetah
will take on something more his own size.
Better return to Mom.
By 10 am a pool party's in full swing.
Elephants love water.
When theypre not drinking it,
theypre bathing in it.
Young and old all throw themselves
into the fun.
The bull elephant is also
in the mood for a bath ...
but he has to find his own pool.
The rhino and her family are
just emerging from a good wallow.
The mud helps protect their skin.
The elephant's sensitive nose
helps him track down the water hole.
And once again the rhino's
are scrambling for cover.
The bull elephant is getting used
to having his own way.
By late morning the sun is high,
but before it gets too hot to run
the cheetahs are
onto another opportunity ...
A large herd of impala.
The cheetah mother looks at them carefully
to judge which one to bring down.
A big male is the closest
and most vulnerable.
He's too big for a single cheetah,
but three could bring him down ...
if her cubs cooperate.
Mom stays back,
encouraging her cubs to do the work.
Only coming in to help pin down the prey.
The impala is a fighter.
Mom lets one of her cubs
learn the most important lesson
how to apply the strangulating
death hold around the neck.
At last the cheetah youngsters
have made their first kill.
And itps a spectacular success.
Now they must be alert to other predators
who would steal their meal.
It's best to drag it
under cover to be safe.
he cheetahs will eat well ...
but already they've been spotted,
and their position is being
broadcast far and wide ... vultures.
The Hyena mum has already seen the birds.
This is worth investigating
There is only one problem-
her route runs straight past the lions.
For a single hyena this is dangerous.
She tries to put some distance
between her and them
She must travel fast and be alert.
She knows sheps being watched...
...and now followed.
But itps not the lioness
she should be worried about -
the real danger is the big male.
The leopard has also detected an intruder.
He could stay up in his tree,
but this visitor is special...
He marks a tree to advertise his presence.
And soon his message is answered ...
by a female leopard.
Itps not long before the two meet ...
For the male leopard this could
be the end of a perfect day.
In just 20 minutes the cheetahs have
already devoured most of their meal.
They know they have to eat quickly
they could be chased off at any time.
This too has been a good day
for the cheetahs.
The cubs have proved that they
can now fend for themselves.
Now it's the hyena's turn to feed.
The vultures are still far away.
It may take some time to reach them ...
But before she walks much further-
another discovery ...
the old buffalo carcass
that scared the rhinos.
This will do just fine.
It may already be rotting
but this wonpt deter the hyena.
She has a strong stomach
and is well-adapted to scavenging
even the oldest carcasses.
Most importantly this gruesome
meal will replenish her milk supply
for her waiting cubs.
It's nearly three opclock.
The male leopard has had a full day,
and itps not over yet.
The female is in season.
She manoeuvres herself in front of him-
an invitation to mate.
This is a quick but frequent union.
The female will solicit his services
round the clock for the next three days.
Meal over, and her belly full,
the Hyena can now get back to the den.
However to get there she must
travel back through lion territory.
This is always a dangerous adventure
for a lone hyena,
but she has no alternative.
She's been away nearly 24 hours.
Her cubs will be desperate.
The Hyena mum is approaching
the border of the lions' territory.
Soon she will be free of danger.
But she missed one crucial thing
the male lion, who moved off on patrol.
He is moving right towards her.
And now has her in his sights.
She's taking care to
watch out for the lionesses
but critically,
she hasnpt looked behind her.
He unleashes his full power and fury.
Within seconds he has her in his mouth ...
and throttles the life out of her.
The rest of the pride encourage him on.
Strangely, even though theypve killed her,
they will not eat her.
They view the dead hyena
as a pest, not prey.
By killing the hyena the lion
has taken three lives ...
without their mother
the hyena cubs cannot survive.
The Super Seven are now six.
Just one single day has brought
extraordinary change to Mala Mala.
For some it has brought tragedy.
For others- good fortune.
Some have learned valuable lessons.
For others itps too late.
One thing is certain ...
every day will test these animals.
And no two days are ever the same.
But itps the very challenges
these animals meet every day
which sharpen their senses,
strengthens their bodies,
makes them Africa's Super Seven.
Itps now past three o'clock.
The day is over.
Another is about to begin.
And once again, as the animals stir
for the approaching night ...
anything can happen.